Why it Would Be Tough to Get Fair Value in a Zach LaVine Sign-and-Trade (and Other Bulls Bullets)

I was listening to the latest episode of the Bulls Talk Podcast last night while I was at my daughter’s hitting lesson.

K.C. Johnson, Rob Schaefer, and Tony Gill were answering mailbag questions, one of which was a thought exercise on whether or not the Bulls could get fair value back in a Zach LaVine sign and trade if that ends up being the route LaVine choses to take. I don’t think that will be the end result here, but it was an interesting discussion.

•   All three hosts essentially agreed that if LaVine wanted to leave Chicago and the Bulls facilitated such a move with a sign and trade, there’s no way the Bulls could get back equal value for LaVine. As K.C. pointed out, the Bulls could demand draft capital as the primary return, but what would the fair value be? A first-rounder? Two first-rounders? If a contender comes calling, their first-rounders will likely be outside of the lottery, so the value of even two first-rounders might not parlay into one player as good as Zach LaVine, so there’s that to consider when asking yourself whether or not the Bulls can acquire fair value in a LaVine deal.

•   I honestly don’t have the answer, but what I do know is this, this Bulls team was built around Zach LaVine. If LaVine wants out, the Bulls are hitting the reset switch once again after snapping a playoff drought this season. You can listen to the discussion between the NBC Sports Chicago Bulls crew here:

•   Filipino big man Kai Soto is reportedly set to work out for the Chicago Bulls later this week. Adam Zagoria of the New York Times reported that the seven-foot-three center worked out for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday and had previously worked out for the Knicks and Magic.

•   Soto wasn’t invited to the NBA Draft Combine last month and played in the NBL last season for the Adelaide 36ers. In an interview with Gretchen Ho, Soto said that he has a lot of work to do to get his body ready for the physicality of the NBA and said that he would like to model his game after Giannis Antetokounmpo or Nikola Jokić. Some project the 20-year-old to be a second-rounder, and as we know, Nikola Jokić was selected in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft and has transformed into a two-time MVP in the NBA. Of course, the Bulls don’t have a second-rounder due to the Lonzo Ball tampering investigation, so they would have to trade into the second round if they wanted to take Soto there. You can check out the interview with Soto and Gretchen Ho below.

•   Let’s take a spin around the NBA. Former Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton is joining the Cleveland Cavaliers as an assistant coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

•   Another disappointing early exit from the playoffs has the Utah Jazz doing some soul-searching this summer. Adrian Wojnarowski says that head coach Quin Snyder’s future with the team is very much up in the air at this point after eight seasons in Utah:

•   Joel Embiid underwent surgery on Monday to repair a sprained right thumb he injured during the playoffs. Tim Bontemps reported that Embiid also had a procedure done to repair an injury to his left index finger:

•   Sham Charania reported on Tuesday that Gary Payton II is “trending towards a game-time decision for Game 1 of the NBA Finals” after fracturing his left elbow during Game 2 of the Warriors’ second-round series with the Memphis Grizzlies:

•   Speaking of the NBA Finals, here’s the full schedule:

•   Luis does a great job of fleshing out some less obvious free-agent fits for the Chicago Bears:

•   Tab put together an excellent primer for the NHL’s Western Conference Finals, and if you missed last night’s Game 1 between Edmonton and Colorado, you missed a doozie of a game. The rest of the series should be fantastic.

written by

Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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