NBA insider assures that Zach LaVine is so ready to leave Chicago that he’d ‘happily go to the airport’ – Basketball Insiders
Ever since the start of the 2023/24 NBA season, we’ve been hearing rumors about Zach LaVine being traded out of Chicago, speculation that has only intensified during the current transfer window, as we are weeks away from February’s trade deadline.
As the two-time All-Star has been mostly linked with the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks, he decided to finally express his views on the matter. According to the Bulls star, he doesn’t care too much about all the gossip around him.
“I don’t think about (trades) at all,” LaVine said this week. “Unless I get a call from my agent, it’s just another day at the office for me. I’m glad to be out here playing. I’ve been in trade talks for a long time obviously. I think this year was bigger than years prior, but at the end of the day, it’s nothing new.”
Following the player’s 16-game absence due to a foot injury, Chicago are now 4-1 since his return last week. Even though the team is clearly happy to have him back and healthy, insider Brian Windhorst is still convinced that the team wants to trade him.
“If they could trade Zach LaVine in the next five minutes, they would trade him and Zach would happily go to the airport,” the ESPN reporter said on NBA Today. “I don’t think anything has changed there. I think they absolutely want to trade him.”
Zach currently enjoys a huge contract in Illinois, as he signed a five-year, $215 million contract with the Bulls back in July 2022 during unrestricted free agency. This means that the guard is making $40 million this campaign and slated to make around $44 million in the next couple of seasons.
This tournament, the UCLA product has been averaging 20.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.3 blocks while shooting 45.1% from field goal attempts, 34.4% from three-pointers and 85.3% from the free-throws.
NBA insider now says that there is a 0% chance the the Lakers will trade for him before the deadline
After being at the top of most of the trade rumors early this campaign, now it seems unlikely as ever that LaVine will end up on the Lakers roster this season. Windhorst, who at some point was convinced he was headed to Los Angeles, now believes there’s no chance Zach will end up in a purple and gold jersey.
“I think there is a zero percent chance of the Lakers trading for Zach LaVine. Zero. Zero,” he said during his own podcast at the start of this week.
“I think there’s a zero percent chance of the Lakers trading for Zach Lavine.”
– Brian Windhorst
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) January 15, 2024
Fellow insider Dan Woike explained that the Bulls star’s trade isn’t an easy one, as his club would have to “add stuff” in order to make the deal interesting enough. He said that the trade market for LaVine is “rough.”
“Zach LaVine, long rumored to be on the trade market, isn’t usually a name that comes up when talking to people about the Lakers’ interest because of his contract and injury history,” he wrote. “The trade market for him around the league, sources say, is so rough that the thought is Chicago should have to add stuff in a LaVine trade to get off the contract.”