Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls have expressed openness to trade possibilities for the two-time All-Star guard. League sources have added that teams are continuing to probe about his availability, and a report last week hinted that teams were monitoring the complete downfall of the Bulls leading to a firesale. Chicago has started the season 4-7 with many of the same issues as a year ago. LaVine individually has stumbled mightily out of the gates, shooting his career-low three-point and overall field goal percentages and averaging his lowest points per game figure since arriving in Chicago in 2017. If this road continues to be as bumpy as the first 11 games have been, is the best option for the Bulls to part ways with their 28-year-old star, and who else would join him on the trade block?
“A Different Team In A Month”
Following a much more tame and quiet summer than Bulls fans would’ve hoped for, Arturas Karnisovas once again cited roster continuity and the big three of DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic being enough talent to contend in the Eastern Conference. Through 11 games, it’s becoming clear that this Chicago team is a mirrored image of the 40-42 team a year ago that fell short of a postseason berth entirely. The lack of success will soon be met with severe roster reconstruction, says Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.
Time To Move On
Chicago’s experiment has officially failed. While DeRozan has enjoyed a career resurgence during his time with the Bulls, the combination of his lack of outside shooting, LaVine’s lack of playmaking, Vucevic’s low usage rates, and the inconsistencies in scoring efficiency and defense from the trio, it’s time for a breakup. Things looked best with a true point guard, but since Karnisovas and company took the cheap and safe route this summer by resigning Coby White and bringing in Jevon Carter, the role has yet to be filled since Lonzo Ball’s absence, and it’s buried Chicago ever since. White nor Carter have been able to fulfill the starting point guard role, and the trio of All-Stars have suffered without a pacing and facilitating guard at the helm.
LaVine offers the most value in a trade scenario and will likely wind up on an Eastern Conference contender like Miami or Philadelphia to match the additions that Milwaukee and Boston made this offseason. He could also find himself on the West Coast with his high-flying and three-point barrage shooting play style.
DeRozan’s the most likely to be traded due to his expiring contract situation and inability to reach an agreement on an extension. If Chicago fails to deal or extend him, he’ll hit free agency with no return for the Bulls. He’s another candidate for a contender to add as a depth and consistent scoring piece. His experience and fourth-quarter scoring reputation will entice playoff teams.
Vucevic is the least likely to be dealt. Given the new contract extension this past summer and the lack of center depth on the roster, he’d more realistically be traded this offseason should Chicago enter a rebuild of any sort.
How do you see things shaking out in Chicago over the next month, and could we see a whole new roster when the calendar turns to 2024?