Zach LaVine Trade Rumors: Knicks, Nets Have Done Background Work on Bulls Star

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2020

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) runs on the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in Washington. The Wizards won 126-114. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks have reportedly each done "background work" on Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine in case he becomes available for trade.

SNY's Ian Begley reported Friday both teams are "monitoring" the situation and "have the assets" to build a formidable offer for LaVine.

The Bulls didn't make the 22-team cut for the resumption of play at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Florida, so LaVine has finished the second season of his four-year, $78 million contract.

Chicago hired Arturas Karnisovas as its new executive vice president of basketball operations in April to chart a new path forward with the franchise having gone five straight seasons without winning a playoff series.

The first key question is whether the team retains head coach Jim Boylen, and the decision could have a significant impact on LaVine's future.

He said in a November interview with Yahoo' Sports' Vincent Goodwill trust had become an issue with the longtime assistant who became the Bulls' coach in December 2018.

"I'm trying my best, I'll say that. I'm playing my minutes and trying to do the best I can do," LaVine said. "It's tough, especially when you're in a rut. If he doesn't trust me, it's hard to trust someone who doesn't trust you."

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K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reported LaVine recently had a "positive visit" with the new regime, which has so far focused on building its roster for next season rather than potentially trading its top assets as part of a complete teardown.

LaVine averaged 25.5 points, which ranked 12th in the NBA, to go along with 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 3.1 threes and 1.5 steals across 60 appearances during the 2019-20 season.

Moving to the Nets, where he'd fill the third star role alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, would help push the team into championship contention.

He'd take on more of a headline role with the Knicks, who are still seeking high-end talent after missing out on Durant and Irving in last year's free-agent period.

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