Well that’s wild. But it’s the week for wild, I suppose.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, several “good teams” have contacted the Bulls about acquiring star player Zach LaVine. On Today’s Lowe Post Podcast, Lowe asked ESPN Insider Brian Windhorst whether he heard about any possible move that could involve the Bulls’ scoring guard. Windhorst quickly responded with a “no,” but then Lowe mentioned he – personally – has heard of several teams who have called the Bulls about striking a deal.
Here’s what Lowe had to say:
“I know teams have called the Bulls about Zach LaVine recently – good teams. The Bulls typically throw the phone out the window when people call about Zach LaVine. Don’t even bother. I assume that is still their stance.”
Uh, what do you mean they throw the phone out the window!? What window!? I’ll go pick it up!
I’m not saying the Chicago Bulls need to jump on the opportunity to trade Zach LaVine, but does this mean the team isn’t even entertaining offers? As far as I’m concerned, the organization isn’t in a situation where they can take a player off the table. I’m sure the Bulls would have to be blown away by an offer to actually send LaVine on his way, but who’s to say one of those “good teams” weren’t ready to negotiate such an offer? Why would you not have that conversation? I have so many questions.
If “good teams” are asking about LaVine, not only could this call into question the perception of LaVine as “not a winning talent,” but this also could very well mean the Bulls hold the upper hand in hypothetical talks. If the Bulls wanted to negotiate, it surely sounds like they could.
However, by not even picking up the call, the Bulls would be communicating to all that LaVine will remain the team’s primary building block for the foreseeable future. And unless this organization can pull off some trade or free agent magic, he will be the No. 1 on this squad moving forward. Maybe that’s an overgeneralization, but, considering LaVine’s current role on the club, and then not listening to any offers, it sure makes it feel that way.
Lowe later went on to double-down on the Bulls intentions not to trade LaVine, and elaborated on the fit some contending teams could see for him:
“Yeah, they’re not going to trade Zach LaVine, but that’s a name I would call. He’s interesting. He’s a very polarizing player in the league, there are definitely lots of people who think ‘if we rescued him from the Bulls and made him a third option and gave him a more stable environment, let’s say there is a redeemable, winning player in there somewhere, because he is so talented offensively.”
I guess the positive takeaway from this is that other teams around the league respect LaVine as a valuable offensive weapon. Although, with that being said, the vibe from Lowe also seems to be that he’s built to be a third option on a winning team.
I don’t think many of us would disagree that LaVine feels like a good second or third option. The obvious problem here is that, if the rest of the league evaluates him this way, and the Bulls see him as an untouchable No. 1, it’s hard to trust that they’ll properly evaluate and build around him.
At the end of the day, I understand not wanting to trade LaVine. Not even listening to offers? If that’s what is going on, it just feels like another example of this organization’s mismanagement.
Anyway, feel free to give Lowe’s podcast a listen for yourself. The LaVine conversation starts around the 51-minute mark.
Apple and Spotify links to Lowe Post podcast with @WindhorstESPN previewing the NBA trade deadline:
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) February 3, 2020