The idea that Zach LaVine might not rep a Bulls jersey next season is one most Bulls fans don’t want to think about. However, according to Sam Quinn of CBS Sports, there is a trade scenario that might be worth exploring if you are Arturas Karnisovas.
Zach LaVine For Tyrese Maxey In A Sign And Trade
Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Daryl Morey is known to be aggressive and he could see LaVine as the missing piece to go alongside Joel Embiid and James Harden. Is he willing to part ways with 21-year-old Tyrese Maxey? It’s a fair question as Maxey will be heading into year three in the NBA after putting together an encouraging sophomore season. In year 2, Maxey showed a massive jump in both PPG and APG from his rookie season. He averaged 17.5 PPG (40th) and 4.3 APG (43rd) while playing just 35 minutes a night. He was also very efficient with the three-ball shooting 42.7% on the season.
TYRESE MAXEY ON FIRE 🔥
36 PTS THROUGH 3 QUARTERS 🤯
— Overtime (@overtime) April 17, 2022
Does This Deal Make Sense For Chicago?
Although Tyrese Maxey is a budding star, it’s not a given that his production will continue to rise in the coming years. The Bulls want to contend. Management has already gone on record echoing that. Last season Zach LaVine saw his PPG drop by three due to playing second fiddle to DeMar DeRozan. And rightfully so. DeMar played at an MVP level his first year with the Bulls. But at times I believe LaVine was almost too hesitant. Instead of looking to get a bucket, he’d often defer to DeMar. Which isn’t necessarily a knock on him but I believe the Bulls are better when he is aggressive. He is a prolific scorer, hell one of the best in the NBA when healthy. And speaking of health, LaVine missed 15 games last season and likely came back too early for one last playoff push.
He followed the early exit courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks with knee surgery and has since made his future wide open regarding his free agency status. Even with everything that he went through last season, LaVine still averaged 24.4 PPG (12th) and 5.5 APG (38th) while shooting near 39% from three. It’s no secret the Bulls looked great early on in the year. Then injuries began to pile up and one of the bigger storylines centered around Lonzo Ball. Ball elevates this team to another level. They obviously missed having him on the court. One of the players who benefits the most from Ball’s presence is LaVine. From simple spacing to what Ball brings to the tempo and transition aspect all help make the game easier for Zach. I want to see that duo have another crack at it so a straight up swap of Tyrese Maxey and Zach LaVine just wouldn’t cut it for me.
The Bulls Should Go Another Route
As I mentioned earlier, Maxey could very well be on the path to Superstar status. But LaVine, is already there. And given the ambitious goals this front office has, it’s likely a better option to just give LaVine the bag and run it back with him. The Bulls will still need to make moves and that could very well include Vooch and/or picks to help improve this roster. Another key factor in not green lighting this trade is the fact the Bulls would be losing even more on the defensive end. LaVine is three inches taller and no where near an elite level defender by any means. But given the teams known defensive issues, it just wouldn’t make sense to add Maxey for that reason alone unless other changes were made to the Chicago roster.
I like Tyrese Maxey. Don’t get me wrong. But giving up LaVine for a potential rising star just doesn’t sit right with me. I could easily be wrong and only time will tell. But The Sixers would have to give up more whether that be a pick and/or an additional player for things to even get serious regarding trade negotiations.