The Chicago Bulls had a shocking upset victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday while stars Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan did not play.
LaVine has been dealing with right foot soreness in recent weeks with the Bulls announcing on Friday that the All-Star guard will be sidelined for the next week.
The timing of LaVine missing a week of games is interesting. There is an expectation that the Bulls will trade LaVine before the NBA Trade Deadline in February with many circling December 15 as the earliest date that a trade will be made. December 15 is when the players who signed contracts this past summer can be traded.
That is an important element in any LaVine trade. For instance, the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the teams who have been heavily linked to LaVine. Given the players that would likely be involved in a potential LaVine trade signed new contracts with the Lakers this past season, there is no path to a trade that can be completed between the two teams before December 15.
Of course, the trade element is a very important aspect of the Bulls’ decision to sit LaVine for a week. This Bulls’ season will be evaluated by the type of return they get in exchange for LaVine. Therefore, the Bulls need LaVine healthy for a trade to be completed.
The Bulls got a glimpse of life post-LaVine on Thursday in their victory over the Bucks. There was a sense of chemistry for the Bulls that’s been lacking all season.