The Chicago Bulls have highlighted what life could be without Zach LaVine as the team has won four of their last six games while LaVine has been sidelined with a foot injury.
Lavine is not expected to return from injury until after the new year but there remains a chance that he has played his last game with the Bulls’ organization.
The stance from both the Bulls and Lavine has not changed since last month when the star guard requested a trade. There remains the expectation that LaVine will be traded before the NBA Trade Deadline in February. With more players being eligible to be traded on December 15, it’s believed that trade talks will pick up for the Bulls.
Shams Charania of The Athletic (Subscription Required) reported that the Bulls are continuing their efforts to find trade interest in LaVine. The teams mentioned specifically by Charania are the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers.
Given the flirtation that LaVine has had with the Lakers in the past, it stands to reason that Los Angeles should be viewed as the favorite for the Bulls’ guard. Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell is expected to be a name that would be sent to the Bulls in a potential package for LaVine.
Russell is averaging 16.2 points per game while shooting nearly 48% from the field. Given the emergence of Coby White as the starting point guard for the Bulls, Russell may not be as preferred of a target for the team as he previously was.
A point guard from the Bulls that has generated trade interest across the league is Alex Caruso. The Bulls have long maintained that Caruso is not available in trade talks and that was the premise in Charania’s reporting.
The Bulls, with their recent play, have made a strong case that there isn’t a need to rebuild entirely. If a trade of LaVine can return players that contribute to the team having success right away, there is reason to be excited about a reworked core.