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NBA Trade Rumors: Bulls' Zach LaVine Has 'Fans' Among Mavs Execs

Adam WellsDecember 28, 2022

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 26: Chicago Bulls Guard Zach LaVine (8) brings the ball up court during a NBA game between the Houston Rockets and the Chicago Bulls on December  26, 2022 at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If the Chicago Bulls decide to tear things down before the trade deadline, the Dallas Mavericks could be among the teams that take a long look at Zach LaVine.

On The Lowe Post podcast (h/t RealGM.com), ESPN's Tim MacMahon said there are people who "hold prominent positions within" the Mavs organization who are "fans" of LaVine.

"Again, I'm not sitting here and telling you there's some great consensus," MacMahon added. "I think there's enough fans of him where I wouldn't totally rule it out."

Zach Lowe did note as MacMahon was making his comment that the Bulls haven't entertained trading LaVine at this point.

Chicago's front office does need to start evaluating the state of its current roster and what should be done for the long-term health of the franchise.

Since improving to 5-4 after a Nov. 6 win over the Charlotte Hornets, the Bulls have lost 15 of their past 24 games. They are currently 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 14-19 record overall, though they only trail the Toronto Raptors by a half game for the final play-in spot.

Another potential problem for the Bulls is they will owe their top pick in the 2023 NBA draft to the Orlando Magic if it's not in the top four.

There are other players on Chicago's roster whose contract status would make it easier to justify trading before the Feb. 9 deadline. Nikola Vučević is in the final year of his current deal. DeMar DeRozan is 33 and only under contract through next season.

But LaVine would almost certainly bring back the biggest return for the Bulls. The 27-year-old is averaging more than 20 points per game for the fifth consecutive season and is a 38.4 percent shooter from three-point range in his career.

Trading a two-time All-Star who just signed a five-year max contract in July is bad business, but the Bulls' attempt to go all-in with this core wasn't a bad idea after going 46-36 last season. Lonzo Ball's ongoing injury woes have significantly impacted how they play.

The Mavs are a team that should be exploring all avenues to find a second star to pair with Luka Dončić. He has carried them to the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference so far, but their lack of high-ceiling depth makes it difficult to see them as a title contender this season.

LaVine is a player with some limitations, mostly on the defensive end, but a potential pairing with Dončić would make magic on the offensive end of the court.