Despite a larger pool of NBA players gaining eligibility to be traded this past Friday, there has been very little change in the status of Zach LaVine with the Chicago Bulls.
By all accounts, the primary objective for the Bulls is that LaVine will be on a new team before the NBA Trade Deadline on February 8. Teams have emerged as potential suitors for LaVine with the latest group mentioned in The Athletic (Subscription Required) including the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Sacramento Kings.
The Kings’ interest in LaVine is nothing new. During the summer of 2018, LaVine was a restricted free agent and signed a four-year, $78MM offer sheet with the Kings. The Bulls, of course, decided to match the offer.
At the time, it would have been a negligent offense by the front office had they not matched the offer. It was one year after the team acquired LaVine in the Jimmy Butler trade and the hope remained that LaVine would ascend toward being the face of the franchise. In a sense, LaVine did become the face of the franchise but it was for a losing team. That was not realized until DeMar DeRozan entered the picture for the Bulls and highlighted the difference between being a star player on a bad team and being a star player on a good team.
The rumored interest from the Kings also comes at a time when K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago does not discard the idea of LaVine remaining with the Bulls beyond the deadline.
"The “whether that’s in Chicago” piece is important and is consistent with what NBC Sports Chicago wrote last week, that “there’s a reasonable scenario in which LaVine remains with the Bulls past the Feb. 8 deadline.”-NBC Sports Chicago"
At some point during the LaVine trade process, there was bound to be a rumor that suggested that the star guard may remain with the Bulls. Especially with how heavily it has been reported that LaVine will be traded this season. It’s important to remember that while the Bulls believe in a future that does include LaVine on their roster, they are not going to make a trade for the mere purpose of making a trade. That is why the Bulls want the messaging out there that LaVine could remain with the team past February, though, it still is very unlikely that occurs.