According to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, the Chicago Bulls may require an additional asset to facilitate the movement of Zach LaVine’s contract before the upcoming trade deadline on Feb. 8.
Throughout the 2023-24 season, LaVine has faced challenges with injuries and inconsistency, resulting in an average of 19.5 points per game with shooting splits of 45.2/34.9/85.4 in his 25 appearances. Trade rumors have circulated around him, but the remaining value of his five-year, $215 million contract seems to deter potential suitors.
LaVine has two guaranteed years left on his contract, with respective values of approximately $43 million and $46 million. Additionally, he holds a $48.9 million player option for the 2026-27 season.
Despite the Bulls hesitating to include assets in trade discussions for LaVine, an alternative approach could involve Chicago accepting a lesser return to secure more future cap space.
K.C. Johnson wrote, “An alternative could be to merely move LaVine as a salary dump for expiring contracts, although NBC Sports Chicago has previously reported that the Bulls weren’t at that stage yet. Plus, of course, it would take another team willing to do that.”
One potential suitor, as mentioned by ESPN’s Zach Lowe, is the Detroit Pistons. Lowe revealed that Detroit’s interest in the former All-Star is “real” during an episode of The Lowe Post. Trade conversations involving LaVine have reportedly taken place between the two teams in the past, according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic.
With the Bulls holding a 23-26 record and DeMar DeRozan entering unrestricted free agency after the season, it appears that Chicago aims to build around young players like Coby White in the future, making LaVine, who turns 29 in March, potentially incompatible with the team’s timeline.