New NBA Team Jumps Into Zach LaVine Trade Sweepstakes

New NBA Team Jumps Into Zach LaVine Trade Sweepstakes

Zach LaVine’s status with the Chicago Bulls has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks.

There has been chatter of a locker room beef involving him. His frustration with head coach Billy Donovan is also a matter of public record.

All of his has led to rumors of several teams being interested in him. Three, specifically.

The New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks have been linked to LaVine frequently. The Los Angeles Lakers have also been in the mix, primarily because that is LaVine’s preferred landing spot if he gets dealt.

This past week Bulls insider K.C. Johnson appeared on Michael Scotto’s HoopsHype podcast. The pair discussed a number of things, but the most intriguing one might have been Johnson’s inclusion of a new squad to watch for LaVine.

“His name has come up in trade speculation, and I’ve reported that there are plenty of teams that, if he’s put on the market – and I preface that with the word ‘if’ – he’s not yet,” he said.

“If he were to be put on the market, the Knicks, Lakers, Dallas, and Miami are certainly monitoring if he’ll become available or not.

“What’s interesting about that to me and other executives I’ve spoken to around the league is there would also be a bit of a question regarding, in their eyes, the health of his knee because if the Bulls just signed him and look to flip him that quickly, it almost raises your antenna a little bit.”

The Miami Heat are certainly interesting to think about in regards to LaVine. Obviously after coming within a game of the NBA Finals last year they were hoping for a repeat performance this season. Thus far, it hasn’t worked out that way.

Miami has been hampered by injuries all season and is currently clinging to eighth place in the East.

LaVine could change that. Maybe.

Last year LaVine played at an incredible level and really established himself as a star to watch in the league. But that was a contract-year performance. Thus far in 2022-23 he hasn’t really replicated it.

It also isn’t super clear at the moment whether Chicago really wants to pull the plug on their current experiment. The front office shelled five years and $215 million to LaVine in hopes of him being a foundational piece for many years to come.

LaVine didn’t leave the Bulls last summer because he wanted to get paid, and they were the only team that would do it.

It would be nice if all sides could just make this experiment work.

But there has been a lot of chatter about a trade so far this year. And where there is this much smoke, there’s usually fire.

Where will LaVine ultimately be playing after the looming NBA Trade Deadline comes and goes? An answer should emerge over the next month.

Related: Is Bill Belichick Facing A Patriots Player Mutiny?

Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.
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