The Portland Trail Blazers are not entertaining any trade packages from the Chicago Bulls for Zach LaVine, according to reports. The Bulls were rumored to enter the Damian Lillard trade sweepstakes. However, it seems Portland is demanding more from Chicago than LaVine and multiple first-round draft picks.
“PHLY Sports’ Kyle Neubeck upped the ante late Wednesday by saying on his outlet’s podcast that the Bulls ‘might be trying to move LaVine as part of a multi-team deal just to see if they can get into the Lillard sweepstakes,’” The Athletic’s Kelly Iko wrote.
“Multiple league sources indicated throughout the offseason that the Trail Blazers showed little interest in acquiring LaVine directly, mostly because he doesn’t match their rebuilding path and commitment to a young backcourt of Scoot Henderson and Anfernee Simons.”
According to a few NBA betting sites, the Chicago Bulls hold 22nd-ranked odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, and Brooklyn Nets.
Who says no? pic.twitter.com/jy86Ou6VTH
— Die-Hard Chicago Bulls Fans (@DieHardCBfans) September 21, 2023
Zach LaVine, 28, has spent the last six NBA seasons (2017-23) with the Bulls. In 77 starts last season, the guard averaged 24.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and a career-high 35.9 minutes per game. Plus, the two-time All-Star shot 48.5% from the floor and 37.5% beyond the arc.
In Chicago’s 132-118 win over the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 30, the guard scored a season-high 43 points in 39 minutes as a starter. He finished 15-of-20 (75%) shooting from the floor and drained five 3-pointers, along with tallying three rebounds, six assists, and two steals.
Portland Trail Blazers not entertaining Zach LaVine trade packages from the Chicago Bulls; a three-team trade is not out of the question?
Last July, Zach LaVine signed a five-year, $215.16 million max extension with the Bulls. His deal includes a $48.96 million player option for the 2026-27 season and a 15% trade bonus. The nine-year veteran is projected to earn $40.06 million in 2023-24 and $43.03 million in 2024-25.
Both the Trail Blazers and the New York Knicks could be scratched off LaVine’s trade list. In June, the Bulls let a news story leak suggesting that LaVine’s camp would not be negotiating any potential trades with teams that have a biased history of preferring clients of Creative Artist Agency (CAA).
“The team that I’ve heard that is kind of the wild card… is the Chicago Bulls… It looks like they might be trying to move [Zach] LaVine as part of a multi-team deal just to see if they can get into the [Damian] Lillard sweepstakes.”
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 20, 2023
“A source said the LaVine camp isn’t interested in dealing with the Knicks, who have a reputation around the league of favoring clients of CAA, the agency that employed Leon Rose before his move to the Knicks front office,” wrote New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy. LaVine is represented by Klutch Sports CEO and agent Rich Paul.
Would Damian Lillard want to play in Chicago? That’s another point to consider. He prefers the Miami Heat. Although the Bulls are up to establishing a Lillard-LaVine-DeMar DeRozan trio, this plan seems unlikely. Chicago will have to trade away one of the two aforementioned players. A lot of unknown variables come into play here.
Of course, the Portland Trail Blazers hold all the cards.