According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Zach LaVine and the Bulls are "open to trade possibilities." In the Athletic article, a senior Bulls writer, Darnell Mayberry said that the Bulls' 4-7 start to this season "accelerated the timeline for LaVine and the Bulls to consider other options."
Developing: NBA teams are probing the availability of Bulls two-time All-Star Zach LaVine and there is increased openness from both sides about exploring a trade, sources say.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 14, 2023
Details at @TheAthletic: https://t.co/2UvELP2lMG
Naturally, every NBA fan and writer's first thought is whether LaVine makes sense for their team. On the court, there's a hand-in-glove fit for LaVine with the Utah Jazz. Utah needs a legitimate guard to run the offense. LaVine has proven himself as just that. While he's not a point guard, he can score efficiently and make plays well enough to improve Utah's offense by himself.
The questions come from his fit in Utah's future plans. Would they see him as the star to build around? He's not on that level. Would he be a number two guy? Lauri Markkanen is already set up for that role. The way that it could work is to try to build a "big three" with LaVine, Markkanen, and another star to be acquired with Utah's stash of assets.
That said, LaVine is in the second year of his five-year max contract. He's owed $178 million by the end of his deal. That's over $40M this year, growing to almost $49M in the 2026-27 season. Can the Jazz build a team based on paying Zach LaVine that kind of money?
Utah does have enough assets to theoretically trade for LaVine and still have enough left for a massive offer for another star. Could that be the plan for Utah's return to contention?