The Chicago Bulls have officially hit rock bottom. They suffered another blowout loss, this time to the Boston Celtics, to take their record to just 5-14. On top of that, both DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine left with injuries, which headlines a bigger concern.
Even though it’s still early in the season, the Bulls are less than likely to turn things around unless they either make some radical lineup changes or change their roster. The front office has Billy Donovan’s back, so a coaching change could be out of the question.
That means the team needs to come to terms with the fact that they just have to trade Zach LaVine, and they cannot have him miss any more games with injuries, as they just drive his trade value down. LaVine has a long history of injuries, and he’s already missed games with knee and foot ailments this season.
And with the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly keeping tabs on his situation, perhaps the Bulls need to start being more careful with their star guard’s minutes and workload.
Lakers Will Be Patient
The Lakers got off to a slow start to the season, and while their interest in LaVine has been reported multiple times in the past, they cannot make any big moves right now after making so many signings in the offseason, as they need to wait until those players are eligible to be traded.
With that in mind, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that they’re going to be quite patient and do their due diligence on any player they potentially trade for this season:
“I think the Lakers will be patient. We saw what happened last year during the season. There was call for changes, Rob Pelinka and that front office they took a more diligent approach,” said Charania. “They pursued Kyrie Irving at the trade deadline, but then they went the other route, got a bunch of good role players, assembled a team that was kinda similar to that 2020 championship team, with high level rotation players and they go to the Western Conference Finals.”
Bulls Want Austin Reaves
The Bulls are no stranger to the Lakers’ potential interest in LaVine, obviously. According to Charania, they would ask for Austin Reaves in any trade package for their coveted star, assuming the Lakers are willing to pay LaVine’s steep salary.
“I expect them to express interest in Zach LaVine, but he’s making almost $40 million. So to total the salaries to reach that amount in a trade, guys like D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, they are not both trade eligible until mid-January,” added Charania. “The Bulls, I’m sure, would covet Austin Reaves in any potential Zach LaVine trade, as any team would. If you’re the Lakers and you’re out there trying to pursue a third star, whether that’s Zach LaVine, anyone else that becomes available, the player that teams will ask about is Austin Reaves 100%. To this point the Lakers have not been inclined to move Austin Reaves, they didn’t put him in a deal for Kyrie Irving.”
Reaves is a valuable part of the Lakers’ rotation, but he hasn’t played well this season, and he might never turn out to become a star, so the Lakers could actually cave in to these demands if they’re desperate to land LaVine.
LaVine would uplift the Lakers’ ceiling significantly, at least on offense. As for the Bulls, Reaves could be another solid foundational piece to build around, even if he’s not a franchise-caliber player.
SURVEY Should the Bulls trade LaVine?
Should the Bulls trade LaVine?
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