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Chicago Bulls reportedly dangling Zach LaVine in blockbuster trade for 7-time All-Star

A new report claims the Chicago Bulls could be the mystery team that is in the hunt to make a blockbuster trade for unhappy Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard.

Two seasons ago the Chicago Bulls were one of the big surprise teams in the NBA. The strategy that put together the big three of DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Lonzo Ball proved to be savvy and the team looked like a legitimate dark horse in the Eastern Conference. Then Ball injured his knee and everything changed.

Related: Trail Blazers and Heat reportedly haven’t made progress in Damian Lillard trade in months

They were eliminated quicker than expected in the 2022 NBA playoffs. Then Ball didn’t return last season and his absence seemingly set up the divide that grew in the locker room as one of the biggest stories for the squad in 2022-2023 was the schism between LaVine and management. With Ball expected to be out all of 2023-2024, the team from last season returning seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

  • Zach LaVine stats (’22-’23): 24.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4.2 APG, 38% 3PT

Chicago Bulls reportedly pursuing blockbuster trade for Damian Lillard

chicago bulls
Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

That may be why the Bulls are at the center of an interesting new report from Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports. In a video posting on Wednesday, the NBA reporter claimed he has heard some rumblings that the Chicago Bulls may be looking to swing a massive trade for disgruntled All-Star Damian Lillard.

  • Damian Lillard stats (’22-’23): 32.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG 7.3 APG, 37% 3PT

“The team that I’ve heard—I’ve made some calls, talked to some people—that is kind of the wild card, getting-into-the-mix team, is the Bulls. I know that the Bulls, throughout this offseason—LaVine’s name has been thrown into the rumor mill a little bit. The Bulls shot that down publicly. The suggestion has been out there that if, or when, they trade LaVine that they would want a star-level return, young players, picks, things with upside as they start to retool and reimagine their roster.

“What I have heard in the last few days is that it looks like they might be trying to move LaVine as part of a multi-team deal to see if they can get into the Dame Lillard sweepstakes.”

– Kyle Neubeck (h/t Bleacher Report)

It was reported earlier this week that there was a mystery team from the Eastern Conference that had begun talks with Portland about Lillard. However, all indications are that the move would be risky, and while Lillard may be a professional and play for other teams his preference is still to join the Miami Heat.