Advertisement

Bulls reportedly will test trade market for Zach LaVine again this offseason.

Chicago Bulls v Toronto Raptors
Chicago Bulls v Toronto Raptors

It wasn't for lack of effort. After Chicago Bulls management and Zach LaVine's camp decided it was best to part ways, the Bulls tried. LaVine preferred to go to the Heat, 76ers, or Lakers, but there was no real interest. Other teams were more interested in Alex Caruso or DeMar DeRozan. The market for LaVine was lukewarm, both because of his massive contract and injury history (he is out for the season again due to injury).

The Bulls will try again this summer, reports K.C. Johnson at NBC Sports Chicago.

The Bulls engaged in multiple trade conversations centered on LaVine dating back to last offseason. When this season began poorly, both the Bulls and LaVine's representation agreed to be open to trying to find LaVine a new home... A source said the Bulls will look to trade LaVine again this offseason.

That's great, but the core issues remain. LaVine can help a team looking for a bucket-getter. The former All-Star is an elite isolation scorer who averaged 21 points a game this season and is a career 38.2% shooter from 3.

Teams' concerns start with LaVine having three years and $138 million remaining on contract (after this season). That's a lot of money for a player considered a disinterested defender with a lengthy injury history. Playoff teams will not want to take on that kind of salary for a player whose value to winning is unclear. Detroit was reportedly interested but their offers did not meet the Bulls' high expectations.

That remains the biggest question about what is next for Chicago — what is team president Arturas Karnisovas' long-term plan? He said he didn't make a trade at the deadline because there wasn't one that made the team better, that he believes in this roster, and that it can be competitive in the East. The reality is he's got a 31-34 play-in team that has been at this level for a couple of years. The Bulls are spinning their tires — which may be fine with ownership that doesn't want to spend and continues selling out the building.

If Karnisovas expects some sort of trade for equal value, for picks and rotation players (or another All-Star), it will be more of the same this summer. What happens with free agent to be DeMar DeRozan could play into this, but the Bulls need to chart a new path beyond DeRozan, LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, it's time for a change. But it's been time for more than a year, yet here we are. We'll see if this summer is anything different.