More Bad LaVine Trade Proposals, An Opposite Front Office, Giannis Out Again, and Other Bulls Bullets
Zach LaVine has proven to be one the best pure scorers in the NBA. During the 2020-21 regular season, he averaged the 7th-most points per game, and he was one of only three players to average over 26 points per game while shooting 50+ percent from the field and 40+ percent from downtown (Durant and Irving are the other two).
Lethal scorers like that are a hot commodity in today’s offense-driven league. In fact, that is likely why we saw the organization make a very clear decision to build around LaVine this season. The acquisition of Nikola Vucevic demonstrated that Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley had their sights on playing competitive basketball sooner than later. And I’m sure several of the moves they will make this offseason will continue to steer things in that direction.
• One has to assume the FO chose to be this aggressive this early because of LaVine’s contract situation. Due to that highly desirable scoring skillset, AKME knows other teams are itching to pry him away next offseason. The Bulls have failed to make the playoffs for the previous four seasons, and LaVine has yet to make his playoff debut over his first seven seasons. With that in mind, it’s not hard to picture a world where LaVine’s patience runs thin. But, still, LaVine has never done anything to suggest he does not want to be in Chicago. In fact, if anything, he’s done the opposite. He has expressed his excitement for the direction of the organization multiple times, and he was the first to welcome Vooch into Chicago with open arms.
Zach LaVine: We appreciate former teammates. But we got a lot better. I’m extremely excited.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) March 26, 2021
• So, (1) the front office has demonstrated a clear commitment to LaVine, (2) LaVine has never suggested he wants to play elsewhere, and (3) LaVine seems happy about the current direction of the franchise. Oh, and let’s remember that the Bulls are the franchise that can offer him the most money in any contract negotiations. I know that you know those things, but I sure wish the rest of the NBA world did … because these LaVine trade proposals are getting out of hand. I’ve already written about this in the past, so I don’t want to beat a dead horse (*proceeds to beat horse*), but I have genuinely been confused by some of the perceived market values for LaVine. Bleacher Report recently pitched the following trade package from the Memphis Grizzlies, and it may be the ugliest one I’ve seen yet:
Memphis Grizzlies Receive: Zach LaVine
Chicago Bulls Receive: Grayson Allen, Desmond Bane, De’Anthony Melton, No. 17, 2023 first-round pick (top-three protection), 2024 first-round pick (more favorable from Golden State and Memphis)
• I like Desmond Bane and De’Anthony Melton, but neither are significant enough pieces to get back in a deal for a player of LaVine’s caliber. Likewise, all of those future picks run a high chance of being outside the lottery, especially if LaVine is teamed up with Ja Morant in Memphis for the long haul. Even if LaVine decided to run around the United Center with a big old sign that said “Trade Me!” while throwing tomatoes at the Joran statue … I think the Bulls would be able to do better than that deal. And, NO, better is not whatever bad Kyle Kuzma-Dennis Schroder sign-and-trade package these Lakers fans keep trying to pitch. Yuck.
• Look, I might have some red-colored glasses on when it comes to LaVine’s value. But I do think many of these trade ideas revolve around the idea that LaVine is excruciatingly unhappy. As things currently stand, that simply is not the case.
• ICYMI: This was awesome.
Zach LaVine Bought a Bunch of Kids Some Jordans Because He’s Awesome Like Thathttps://t.co/DxjpJatOOy
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 2, 2021
• Bulls dot com’s Sam Smith seems to believe we are in store for a substantial roster shakeup later this summer:
I do believe next season will go forward with Zach and Vucevic. But I also wouldn’t be surprised based on what you’re noting if he trades into the first round, if not in the top half, gets aggressive in free agency and flips the roster substantially. And then if it’s not working continuing to be opportunistic. I often believed previous management could be a bit too conservative. Perhaps this management will be a bit too bold. It should make for an intriguing ride.
• The last point Smith made is key, in my opinion. Whenever an organization makes a change – whether it be upstairs or with the coaching staff – we normally see the opposite type hired. The GarPax regime was all about keeping it safe and saving money. All we have seen from Karnisovas regime so far a 180. He took a big swing (financially and in terms of roster building) with the hiring of Billy Donovan (who is the exact opposite of the previous head coach who shall not be named) and the acquisition of Nikola Vucevic. For now, that is all we have to base our future predictions on, which makes me feel like it’s very likely we see an unexpected move or two in August.
• The Greek Freak has been ruled out again tonight, but there is a belief he could be back for a Game 7 if the Hawks can save their season tonight. Would love for both Giannis and Trae to be back for a loser leaves town matchup.
There’s belief Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) would be given the green light for a potential Game 7 if Hawks avoid elimination in Game 6 on Saturday, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 2, 2021
• WHO CUT THE DAMN ONIONS!?
Monty: "Chris, you're going to the Finals."
CP3: "Coach, I'm trying to calm down, coach."
Monty: "You don't have to calm down."
This moment between CP3 and Monty Williams at the end of Game 6 is beautiful ❤️
(via @NBA) pic.twitter.com/SBqmrFjHJl
— ESPN (@espn) July 3, 2021
• Who did this jersey swap? I don’t like it.
Michael Jordan scored 51 points on the Hornets at 38 years old in 2001 as a Wizard. pic.twitter.com/alxzmFb7et
— Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson (@ScoopB) July 3, 2021