Mavericks are fans of Bulls' Zach LaVine with NBA Trade Deadline looming

Mavs are 'Zach LaVine fans' with trade deadline looming originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Bulls just gave Zach LaVine a max contract, and he could be traded away already?

There have been some rumblings surrounding a LaVine trade. Most recently, ESPN's Tim MacMahon discussed the Dallas Mavericks' interest in the Chicago star on The Lowe Post podcast.

Zach Lowe prefaced the conversation by saying a big name always seems to be the focal point of trade talks at given points in the calendar, and using just common sense and no actual reporting LaVine is a candidate.

He's on a struggling team on the cusp of the play-in slots. He is also an All-Star and elite scorer. He also notes he believes it's more of a potential summer move than a trade deadline deal because of the size of his contract.

But Lowe adds that if the Mavericks are considering trading away Dorian Finney-Smith, LaVine seems like an obvious target.

Enter ESPN's Tim MacMahon, who has covered the Mavericks in his hometown of Dallas extensively.

"I do know that there are people who have some juice within the Mavericks organization who are Zach LaVine fans," MacMahon said.

MacMahon also notes that Dallas wouldn't necessarily be doing "backflips about" because there would be concern about durability." LaVine is currently playing through a hand injury that has affected his shooting. LaVine has played through numerous injuries during his tenure in Chicago.

He also notes there would be concern about LaVine's defense, a common knock against LaVine. That concerned would be amplified by losing Finney-Smith.

And of course, LaVine's massive new contract would be a lot to absorb.

From the Mavericks' perspective, according to MacMahon, Dallas might not be able to get the "perfect co-star, you just have to get a co-star."

"At a certain point, you have to pounce on what might be available," MacMahon said. "We'll see what else might be available. If he's the best in the marketplace, the Mavericks might eventually have to make a play there.

NBC Sports Chicago's Bulls Insider K.C. Johnson answered a question about the potential of the Bulls trading any of the "Big 3" (LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vučević) in his mailbag on Friday.

"As of this typing, no. That’s certainly the current impression of the rival executives to whom I have spoken," Johnson wrote.

Johnson noted that Bulls executive Artūras Karnišovas is notoriously tight-lipped and added "management’s continued public commitment to continuity isn’t merely lip service."

And from Johnson's vantage point, "the player to watch is Vučević."

The NBA Trade Deadline is February 9.

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