The 2023-24 NBA season is just getting started, but many teams seem to already know what this year holds for them. For instance, while the Miami Heat can dare to dream with another deep playoff run, the Chicago Bulls seem to be heading for another disappointing campaign.
The 2023 runners-up are fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 10-5 record, while the Bulls are 13th sitting at 5-11. Chicago is expected to rebuild sooner or later, which is why Zach LaVine has been the subject of multiple trade rumors lately.
Since Miami is constantly looking to improve around Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, it was mentioned as a possible trade suitor for LaVine. However, it looks like the team is not so interested in the Bulls star, especially if it has to involve Tyler Herro to get a deal done.
“But a person in close contact with the Heat front office said Miami has not been pursuing a trade for him, at least as of now. (I would be surprised if that changes.),” wrote Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
LaVine costs way more than Herro
Though LaVine has failed to prove he can be the leading star of a team with serious aspirations – he made just one playoff appeareance in Chicago (a first-round exit in 2022), he’s still a player that draws interest in the market.
This season, he’s averaging 21.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, shooting 43.1 from the field and 33.9 percent on threes. But his contract could be a stumbling block, especially for the Heat, since Herro is much cheaper.
LaVine is making just over $40m this season, but he’s due $43m and $45.9m in the next two years. Besides, he holds a player option for the 2026-27 season of nearly $49 million. Herro, on the other hand, is making $27m this season and won’t exceed $33m in any of the remaining seasons on his current four-year contract.
The Heat reportedly are one of LaVine’s preferred destinations
This may be painful for LaVine, who reportedly sees Miami as one of his favorite landing spots in the event of a trade. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Heat are one of teams preferred by LaVine and his camp along with the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers.
SURVEY Should the Bulls trade Zach LaVine?
Should the Bulls trade Zach LaVine?
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Whenever a player looks set to hit the market, the guessing games are on and the rumors can go on for weeks (or months). The trade deadline will be on February 9, so anything can happen until then. If the Bulls turn things around, LaVine may not be traded at all. So we’ll have to wait and see.