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#pounditThursday, July 7, 2022

Bulls eyeing notable potential Zach LaVine replacement?

Zach LaVine warming up

Feb 9, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) warms up before action against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls may have a contingency plan in place in case Zach LaVine decides to dip this summer.

Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reported this week that the Bulls have known interest in trading for Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle. Deveney notes that Chicago general manager Marc Eversley has had a fondness for Thybulle, dating back to Thybulle’s college days at Washington. Eversley had previously served as an executive in the Sixers’ front office and was reportedly instrumental in pushing for Philadelphia to draft Thybulle.

Of course, Thybulle is an extremely different player than LaVine, a two-time All-Star, consistent 25-point-per-game scorer, and multi-time Three Point Contest participant. Meanwhile, Thybulle has never posted more than six points per game in a season and is a shaky three-point shooter at best.

Instead, Thybulle’s calling card is defense. He was already one of the NBA’s elite perimeter defenders in his third season and made the All-Defensive Second Team this year for the second straight time. If the Bulls decide that they want to reorient their backcourt around Thybulle, Ayo Dosunmu, Coby White, and a healthy Lonzo Ball, there are worse options than that when it comes to replacing LaVine.

There is still the possibility that LaVine, an unrestricted free agent, will stay in Chicago, particularly because they can offer him the longest contract for the most money. But one notable Bulls figure thinks LaVine is already as good as gone, so it makes sense to start thinking about a Plan B.

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