Zach LaVine’s status with the Chicago Bulls has been a popular topic of conversation for more than a year.
Ever since he signed a massive five-year, $215 million deal with the organization, there has been speculation that he wouldn’t ultimately finish that contract in Chicago.
This week, ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft, rumors began to emerge that the Bulls were looking to shake things up roster-wise.
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, LaVine may soon be on the move.
“It’s the Chicago Bulls who have started contacting teams, quietly gauging the trade interest in Zach LaVine,” he reported.
“It remains to be seen just how willing Chicago is to part ways with LaVine, or if it receives a commensurate offer for his services. LaVine has four seasons remaining on his five-year, $215 million contract, and multiple teams have indicated the Bulls are holding a steep valuation for LaVine.”
Obviously LaVine’s slow start to last season, given how good he looked one year prior, will give some teams pause as far as what to offer Chicago. That said, once he recovered from his myriad of lower body injuries, he seemed to return to form.
The Bulls, as presently constructed, cannot win a championship. So it would certainly make sense for them to blow things up and start building anew. Shipping LaVine off is the logical first step, as he has the highest value on the open market.
Three teams currently look like the likeliest landing spots for LaVine.
The first is the Miami Heat. Coming off a disappointing NBA Finals run that saw them fall to the Denver Nuggets in five games, Miami wants to add a star alongside Jimmy Butler. They are one of four teams in the hunt for Bradley Beal, but LaVine makes just as much sense – if not more.
LaVine is after all younger than Beal, and over the past couple of years, he has seemed like the better overall player.
If not the Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers are also worth keeping an eye on. As this year’s Western Conference Finals performance proved, they need more scoring options alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
LaVine brings scoring in droves.
It’s worth remembering, LaVine has been linked to the Lakers for a while now. This could finally be an opportunity for all parties involved to make it happen.
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Finally, don’t sleep on the New York Knicks. Jalen Brunson legitimized the franchise immensely this season, but their flameout against the Miami Heat in the second-round of the playoffs left a lot to be desired.
LaVine would be a great fit alongside Brunson and could quickly turn into a major star in New York.
One way or another, it is increasingly feeling like LaVine isn’t long for Chicago. Where will he be playing come the beginning of next season? Time will tell.