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NBA insider offers troubling update on Zach LaVine’s trade value for Chicago Bulls

Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls determined quickly this season that it was time to move All-Star guard Zach LaVine. However, as the 2024 NBA trade deadline draws closer, recent NBA trade rumors suggest Chicago will have a very difficult time moving its guard.

LaVine, who turns 29 in March, has made it clear he’s unhappy in Chicago. Meanwhile, the Bulls’ front office has realized the All-Star shooting guard isn’t a fit for what the team wants to do long-term. Unfortunately for Chicago, months of attempts to trade LaVine haven’t gone well.

  • Zach LaVine contract: $40.064 million salary (2024), $43.031 million salary (2024-’25), $45.999 million salary (2025-’26), $48.967 million player option for 2026
    • 15 percent trade kicker

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According to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, LaVine’s trade market after weeks of Chicago attempting to move him is nonexistent. In fact, there’s such little interest in acquiring LaVine as is, that the Bulls’ front office will reportedly have to attach assets just to move him.

LaVine, one of the highest-paid NBA players, is locked into a contract that has wiped out his trade value. The team that acquires him wouldn’t just be responsible for $137 million over the next three years, but closer to $150 million thanks to his trade kicker.

To put LaVine’s numbers into perspective, he ranks 119th in Win Shares per 48 minutes (WS/48), just ahead of Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes (.091) and behind Miami Heat forward Duncan Robinson (.098). He also ranks 108th in True shooting, behind Terry Rozier (.583) and Eric Gordon (.587).

  • Zach LaVine stats: 20.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 3.8 APG, 45.2% FG, 16.1 PER, .092 WS/48

Related: NBA trade rumors, latest on Zach LaVine

Because of it, NBA teams are extremely weary of acquiring LaVine. While a change of scenery and being shifted into a lesser role might make him a more effective starter, the contract remains a deterrent. Ultimately, Chicago might have to choose between keeping LaVine, packaging assets to move off his long-term salary, or finding a trade partner willing to move a shorter contract and a lesser player for him.

Either way, with far better talent available ahead of the NBA trade deadline, the Bulls’ front office will have to take a patient approach. In the meantime, NBA teams will likely keep inquiring about Alex Caruso.

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