A large part of the Chicago Bulls‘ plan moving forward includes the team trading star guard Zach LaVine before the NBA Trade Deadline on February 8.
LaVine requested a trade from the Bulls last month and is expected to be sidelined into the new year recovering from a foot injury. There has been an expectation that LaVine has played his last game with the Bulls but the trade interest has not been there.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times provided an update on LaVine’s market.
"According to a source Wednesday, with many of the players who signed contracts during the summer eligible to be traded starting Friday, executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas is finding no real market interest in Zach LaVine.-Chicago Sun-Times"
There shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that there is no trade interest in LaVine yet. The 2023-2024 NBA season is still in the early stages with many teams not knowing if they will be buyers or sellers until they get closer to the deadline. The teams that know they would be buyers, namely the Los Angeles Lakers, don’t have the means to complete a trade given the trade restrictions that begin to be lifted on Friday.
To that end, Cowley mentions that LaVine’s camp is indeed eyeing a trade to the Lakers. In addition, Cowley’s report also provides more context as to why LaVine can’t return to the Bulls.
"A scenario in which the Bulls and LaVine stay together the rest of the season, then re-explore a new home for him next summer is unlikely.Another source said that the relationship between LaVine and coach Billy Donovan, while still amicable, is broken from a professional standpoint, mostly on LaVine’s end. He would rather make ripples than waves but no longer wants to play for Donovan and really hasn’t wanted to since last season.-Chicago Sun-Times"
It’s also become clear that the Bulls have no intention of rebuilding. A trade of LaVine will happen because it’s become clear that neither side can function together. A trade of LaVine always seemed like the likeliest of outcomes for the Bulls. LaVine never fully embraced the full of being the face of the franchise and his unwillingness to adapt to coaching has become a large part of the reason why the team has stumbled in the two years since Lonzo Ball’s injury.