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Zach LaVine, Bulls moving closer to trade?

Zach LaVine warming up

Dec 7, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) warms up before an NBA game against the Washington Wizards at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Zach LaVine could potentially be entering his final days as a member of the Chicago Bulls.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that there is now increased openness between LaVine and the Chicago organization about exploring a trade. Charania adds that opposing teams are probing LaVine’s availability as a result.

The Bulls are off to a 4-7 start to the season, which has them 12th in a tough Eastern Conference. Signs of frustration are already mounting for the team (one year after they finished under .500 and lost in the play-in tournament).

LaVine, a multi-time All-Star at 28 years old, is averaging a team-high 21.9 points per game this year (which is even well below his Bulls career average of 24.5 points per contest). He is the single most talented piece on Chicago’s roster, particularly with his athleticism and playmaking abilities on top of his scoring punch, and has been linked to two interesting potential trade suitors in the recent past. LaVine is the second season of a five-year, $215 million contract with the Bulls (with a player option in 2026-27 and a 15 percent trade kicker).

Trapped in mediocrity for seemingly the umpteenth straight season, it may be time for the Bulls to blow it up once and for all. On top of the team’s now increased willingness to move LaVine, another notable roster piece has been a freshly-rumored trade candidate as well.

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