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#pounditFriday, June 14, 2024

Zach LaVine using tactic to force trade from Bulls?

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

With each passing day, Zach LaVine’s future with the Chicago Bulls looks less and less certain, but the aftermath of one big development may not work out the way the guard wanted.

LaVine has been the subject of widespread reports indicating he has friction with teammates and is at the heart of internal dysfunction within the team. The most notable of these reports came from Shams Charania of The Athletic, whose report on the dysfunction included quotes from LaVine himself.

Many around the league have noted that report and raised an eyebrow at it. Multiple sources told Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report that they viewed the story, particularly its LaVine-centric narrative, as an effort on the part of the player’s camp to start the process of trying to force a trade.

Pincus adds that a deal will not be easy, and interest might not be strong. LaVine is in the first year of a five-year, $215 million contract, and there is widespread concern around the league about the long-term health of the guard’s surgically-repaired knee. The consensus is that few teams would be willing to take on a player with those health concerns on such a massive contract.

If LaVine is made available by the Bulls, some teams will certainly want to check in. The asking price will determine a lot, but the Bulls are under no obligation to consider a trade request, even if one is made. That means an uncertain situation is likely looming ahead of the trade deadline.


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