Wojnarowski Has Some Bad News on the Zach LaVine Trade Market

Adrian Wojnarowski dropped some coal in the Chicago Bulls’ stocking to begin the holiday season.

As both the Bulls and Zach LaVine remain open for a potential trade, a market is reportedly failing to materialize. Wojnarowski told ESPN’s Malika Andrews on Friday that teams still have plenty of questions about whether or not pursuing Zach LaVine is worth it.

“There is not a market for Zach LaVine right now in the NBA,” Wojnarowski said on NBA Today. “And that’s not because Chicago has not tried to find it and aren’t currently trying to find it …

Right now, I think for both LaVine and the Bulls, to get a trade, he needs to start playing well. He needs to start playing well and impacting winning. I think that’s certainly what teams are going to want to see as they look at the value of trading for him.”

Wojnarowski reiterated that the lack of interest in the two-time All-Star centers around both his hefty price tag and ability to play winning basketball. LaVine is owed just under $138.0 million over the next three seasons, and this doesn’t include the $40.0 million going into his pocket this year. This number also comes tied to a player who has appeared in just one playoff series over his decade in the NBA.

Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls goes for a layup against the Phoenix Suns.
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Will Zach LaVine’s Market Improve?

Of course, a lot of LaVine’s misfortune is due to his environment. Both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls were in rather dysfunctional rebuilds, limiting the amount of win-now talent around him. With that in mind, I still believe it wouldn’t be too challenging for a contending team to talk themselves into his explosive athleticism and efficient three-level scoring talent. The problem for LaVine and the Bulls, however, is that he hasn’t shown those same skills to begin this season.

Indeed, as Woj noted, LaVine’s value has only fallen over the course of his 18 games this season. His effective field goal percentage of 51.5 is the lowest it’s been since the 2017-18 campaign when he was first coming off his ACL tear. His 3-point stroke has also fallen to just 33.8 percent, which is a significant drop off from the 39.4 percent he averaged over the past three seasons.

LaVine has also been one of the main reasons why the Chicago Bulls rank 26th in FG% at the rim, per Cleaning the Glass. Typically a strong finisher, LaVine is converting just 59 percent of his attempts at the rim thus far, which is at least a 10 percent drop off from his previous two seasons. More on the Bulls’ mind-boggling inability to make layups here.

With these stats in mind, it’s not hard to understand why the trade market is reportedly running dry. Not to mention, the Chicago Bulls want a strong return on their asset, and I’m sure opposing teams are well aware of that. Entertaining Arturas Karnisovas’ high asking price isn’t going to be a conversation anyone wants to have until LaVine begins to play better.

The problem for the Bulls is that LaVine is now out for the next week with right foot soreness. All things considered, it’s difficult not to think that this move could be, in part, out of an abundance of caution with his trade value in mind. But Wojnarowski is surely making it sound like LaVine will do little good for himself or the Bulls organization while stuck on the bench. Even if this is preserving his health, on-court improvement is what opposing organizations need to see.

Now, I should say that it’s possible opposing teams want this to be the message Woj sends out. The more the Chicago Bulls and Klutch believe there is a weak market for LaVine, the more likely it could be that the cost of trading for him goes down. I’d also note that it’s only December 1st. There is a reason we wrote about how long and painful this trade process could be last week.

Seldom do we see deals of any kind get done this early in the season. The trade deadline isn’t until February because that’s when front offices have a much better understanding of where their team is at and what they might need for a playoff push. A majority of the players who signed this offseason aren’t even trade-eligible until December 15, so the expectation has been that conversation wouldn’t arise with suitors in earnest until then.

So while I believe that Zach LaVine’s market is not what the Chicago Bulls would want it to be right now, I do think there is a lot of time for that to naturally change. But one way to ensure that happens ASAP is to make him understand that playing better basketball is in everyone’s best interest. If that doesn’t happen, things could get even worse.

Check out Woj’s full comments here:

https://twitter.com/ESPNNBA/status/1730686278989926686?s=20

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

more bulls news

REPORT: Kentucky Looking to Hire BYU’s Mark Pope (So No Billy Donovan)

Kentucky basketball has honed in on a new head coaching candidate. According to both Jon Rothstein and ESPN's Pete Thamel, the Wildcats are expected to strike a deal with BYU head coach Mark Pope. The news comes after Baylor's Scott...

Enhanced Box Score: Bulls 127, Pistons 105 – April 11, 2024

DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic weren't messing around. The Chicago Bulls' veteran came out and played like two motivated veterans in the first half. DeRozan scored 17 points on 7-12 shooting from the field, while Vucevic added his own 17...

Bulls Secure Home-Court Advantage in Play-In Matchup with Hawks

The Chicago Bulls have accomplished the bare minimum. Despite the Atlanta Hawks right on their tails, the Bulls have managed to avoid one last final catastrophe. A victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night officially locked the team into...

Pre-Gamin’: Chicago Bulls at Detroit Pistons (6:00 CT), Projected Lineups, How to Watch, More

If the Chicago Bulls lose three times to the league-worst Pistons, they are automatically demoted to the G-League. Sorry, I don't make the rules! https://twitter.com/chicagobulls/status/1778407503300084070 Game Info Chicago Bulls (37-40) at Detroit Pistons (13-66) – 6:00 p.m. CT on NBC...

Atlanta Hawks Already Rule Out Two Key Players for Play-In Game with Bulls

The Chicago Bulls have already caught a massive break ahead of their Play-In Tournament battle next week. The Atlanta Hawks announced they will officially be without two key rotation players during next Wednesday's matchup. Backup big man Onyeka Okongwu will...

Obsessive Billy Donovan Watch: Scott Drew, Dan Hurley Reportedly Say No to Kentucky

The Billy Donovan rumors slowed down on Wednesday, but they are about to merge back onto the highway. Baylor head coach Scott Drew began to have his name tied heavily to the Kentucky opening. Not only was he being considered...

Clinching Home Court, Drummond’s Status, Among Worst Lineups in the NBA, and Other Bulls Bullets

The Chicago Bulls have a chance to clinch Play-In Tournament revenue by beating the worst team in the NBA tonight. This is their Super Bowl!! The Detroit Pistons have 13 wins on the season. Two of those are against the...

Chicago Bulls’ Final Regular Season Game Picked Up By ESPN

I'm sending my apologies to the nation in advance. The Chicago Bulls are now in line to play back-to-back games on national television. ESPN announced the channel will air the Bulls' April 14 battle against the New York Knicks. The...

Bulls List Andre Drummond as “Doubtful” for Matchup with Pistons

The Chicago Bulls injury report is trending in the wrong direction at the wrong time. One night after having to leave the game with an ankle injury, Andre Drummond is listed as "doubtful" for Thursday's meeting with the Detroit Pistons....

Raymond Felton Confirms “Derrick Rose Flu” Was a Thing

Few matchups proved more terrifying for NBA guards than facing prime Derrick Rose. But don’t just take my word for it.  Raymond Felton confirmed some lore that has always surrounded the youngest MVP in franchise history. The 14-year NBA veteran...

Latest News

Yankees vs. Guardians Probable Starting Pitchers – April 12

The Cleveland Guardians (9-3) open a three-game series against the New York Yankees (10-3) with a Friday matchup at Progressive Field. First pitch is at 7:10 PM ET.The Yankees will give the nod to Clarke Schmidt against the Guardians and...

Phillies vs. Pirates Probable Starting Pitchers – April 12

The Philadelphia Phillies (7-6) host the Pittsburgh Pirates (9-4) at Citizens Bank Park on Friday, with the first pitch at 6:40 PM ET.This contest's pitching matchup is set, as the Phillies will send Cristopher Sanchez (0-1) to the mound, while...

Tigers vs. Twins Probable Starting Pitchers – April 12

The Minnesota Twins (4-6) kick off a four-game series on Friday against the Detroit Tigers (7-4). The contest starts at 6:40 PM ET at Comerica Park.This contest's pitching matchup is set, as the Tigers will send Tarik Skubal (1-0) to...

Braves vs. Marlins Probable Starting Pitchers – April 12

The Atlanta Braves (7-4) visit the Miami Marlins (2-11) on Friday to kick off a three-game series at LoanDepot park. The matchup starts at 7:10 PM ET.The probable starters are Max Fried for the Braves and Trevor Rogers (0-1) for...

Blue Jays vs. Rockies Probable Starting Pitchers – April 12

The Toronto Blue Jays (6-7) host the Colorado Rockies (3-10) on Friday to kick off a three-game series at Rogers Centre. The matchup begins at 7:07 PM ET.The Blue Jays will look to Kevin Gausman (0-1) against the Rockies and...

Mets vs. Royals Probable Starting Pitchers – April 12

The New York Mets (5-7) host the Kansas City Royals (9-4) on Friday to kick off a three-game series at Citi Field. The matchup starts at 7:10 PM ET.The Mets will give the ball to Luis Severino (0-1, 3.60 ERA),...

Giants vs. Rays Probable Starting Pitchers – April 12

The Tampa Bay Rays (7-6) kick off a three-game series on Friday against the San Francisco Giants (5-8). The contest starts at 6:50 PM ET at Tropicana Field.The Giants will give the nod to Keaton Winn (0-2) versus the Rays...

Red Sox vs. Angels Probable Starting Pitchers – April 12

The Boston Red Sox (7-6) host the Los Angeles Angels (6-6) on Friday to kick off a three-game series at Fenway Park. The matchup begins at 7:10 PM ET.The Red Sox will give the nod to Tanner Houck (2-0) versus...

Orioles vs. Brewers Probable Starting Pitchers – April 12

The Milwaukee Brewers (8-3) begin a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles (8-4) with a Friday meeting at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. First pitch is at 7:05 PM ET.The Orioles will give the nod to Tyler Wells (0-1, 4.76...

What’s Next for Frank Nazar and the Blackhawks?

On Thursday night, Frank Nazar's sophomore season at the University of Michigan came to a close when the Wolverines were shut-out 4-0 by Boston College at the Frozen Four. For his night, Nazar put two shots on net and won...

more bulls news