According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Zach LaVine is increasingly on the minds of NBA front office’s around the league.
“Another guy that executives are watching out there is Zach LaVine because they’re not sure of his future with the organization is Zach LaVine. Now, I would tell you that the Bulls if they’re going to trade a guy like Zach LaVine who is having a career season, would want to trade him for someone like Bradley Beal. So it’s not necessarily an either/or. I think it would be if a player like Bradley Beal was available, that would get Philly or Chicago interested. But if you’re looking for players who could possible be out there on the market those are two names [Ben Simmons the other reference] that have been mentioned with league executives.”
We learned earlier this week that the Washington Wizards and Bradley Beal remain adamant about keeping their marriage intact, thus forcing organizations to start looking elsewhere for high-impact talent. Windhorst was quick to mention LaVine as the player teams would like to get their hands-on, and I don’t think that comes off as shocking news for anyone that has followed the recent Zach LaVine Saga.
We’ve known since the summer that teams had been monitoring LaVine’s situation, with the Knicks and Nets as the specific teams thrown into the conversation at one point or another. The hope for some executives is that a completely revamped Bulls front office might be more eager to add their own talent rather than build off the previously established core. And while I’m sure that is a topic of conversation inside the Advocate Center for Artruas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley, there has been no indication that the Bulls are interested in moving pieces right now, especially not Zach LaVine.
In fact, in one of his more recent mailbags, NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson shared that the “word around the league is that the Bulls aren’t looking to trade LaVine.” And while Windhorst did continue the conversation of a possible trade on Thursday’s episode of The Jump, he does basically reiterate this sentiment. He reports that executives might have their eye on LaVine, but there is no indication that the Bulls would want to move the rising star unless it was in a deal for a player of Beal’s caliber – a.k.a. a superstar.
The fact that Windhorst does believe it would take a mega-talent to convince the Bulls to part with LaVine, however, is an essential new tidbit of information. I think it’s safe to say that before we never quite knew what the Bulls would hope for in return, whether it be draft capital or talent that could immediately affect the success of the roster. Of course, I don’t think this rules out the possibility of the Bulls accepting a very intriguing package centered around draft picks, but I do think it kind of fine-tunes our expectations. Not to mention, this philosophy is consistent with what we heard from this front office during the offseason, which was that there is no interest in starting a fresh rebuild.
So if Beal truly isn’t on the table, and the league also doesn’t see any other stars become available over the next few weeks, I suppose it’s possible the LaVine trade speculation will finally quiet down. Only time will tell.
For a complete look at what Windhorst had to say, check out the interview below: