It looks as though a Zach LaVine trade is imminent as the Bulls struggle through the first part of the season, but one NBA insider has revealed the brutal truth about a LaVine deal.
Chicago’s LaVine is reported interested in being traded to the Lakers, Miami or the 76ers, but finding a way forward with those teams, or the other 27, may prove difficult.
Longtime NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski has explained the two main reasons why the Bulls have found it a tall task to find a suitor for LaVine.
“There is not a market for Zach LaVine right now in the NBA,” ESPN’s Wojnarowski said. “That’s not because Chicago has not tried to find it, and aren’t currently trying to find it. It’s a combination of a few reasons: LaVine’s contract — four more years at around a $45-46 million a year average. But his productivity, I think this is a player right now who, certainly he’s out right now with a foot injury. He’s been in and out of the lineup.
“I think the question for teams is, ‘How much does Zach LaVine impact winning?’ Especially at the salary and with a new salary cap, where you’re asking yourself, ‘Are we trading for him to be our best player?’ No. ‘Our second-best player?’ No. So, if he’s our third best player, do we want to pay that kind of money?”
The 28-year-old is averaging 21 points per game this season, which is his lowest since he was with Minnesota in 2017-18.
The shooting guard is also suffering a career-low 34 percent from the three-point line.
Plus, his 44 percent shooting rate from the field is the worst he’s put up since his rookie season in 2014.
Before the season began, LaVine signed a five-year $215 million contract, so is owed a whopping $178.1 million this season through 2026-27 (with a player option in the final year).
He has had multiple surgeries on his left knee to top it all off.
If you put all that together, it’s no wonder teams don’t want to make an offer for the struggling guard.