The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly monitoring Zach LaVine’s situation in case the Chicago Bulls star requests a trade from the Windy City. The Nets are in win-now mode. They will look to maximize the limited championship window they have with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as their franchise cornerstones.
Durant will turn 32 this September and it’s still unknown if he’s still KD when he comes back from his potentially career-altering Achilles injury. Meanwhile, Irving is 28 and should be in his prime. However. injuries have hampered his career so far.
Acquiring LaVine will give the Nets a legitimate Big Three and should further boost their championship hopes. The high-flying guard still has 2-years, $38-million remaining on his deal after this season. He will become a free agent after the 2021-22 season when he will be 27 years old.
Brooklyn has the trade chips in Caris Levert, Jarrett Allen, and Spencer Dinwiddie to make a big splash. Likewise, unlike in previous years, they also have a cupboard of draft picks that they can utilize as sweeteners should the Bulls consider parting ways with the 25-year old. With that, it’s all about finding the right package that can entice Chicago. Here are the best trade offers Brooklyn can make for Zach LaVine.
Trade: Caris Levert, Taurean Prince, and Dzanan Musa/Rodions Kurucs for Zach LaVine and Thaddeus Young
With this trade, the Bulls will get a talented 25-year old in LeVert along with a solid wing forward in Taurean Prince and an intriguing international prospect in Dzanan Musa. Meanwhile, the Nets will get their hands on LaVine, while also landing a reliable power forward in Thaddeus Young.
The Nets have a chance to showcase either Musa or Kurucs when the season restarts and should they show promise in Disney World, they should become enticing trade assets for the Bulls to consider.
The key for Brooklyn in this scenario is keeping Jarrett Allen and his elite rim protection.
Possible Core rotation: Irving, LaVine, Durant, Young, Jordan, Allen, Dinwiddie
Trade: Caris LeVert, DeAndre Jordan, Taurean Prince, Dzanan Musa/Rodions Kurucs for Zach LaVine and Otto Porter Jr.
This is pretty much the same package as the one above, but adding DeAndre Jordan and substituting Thaddeus Young for Otto Porter Jr.
Going with Porter instead of Young gives them a chance to take a look at the 27-year old. They could slot him at the small forward role while sliding Durant at the four, which gives them added versatility. When healthy, Porter is a solid option as a 3-and-D wing. However, over the past years, he has struggled to stay on the floor due to injuries. Hopefully, with the additional layover due to the coronavirus pandemic, he will be ready to go by next season.
Likewise, this deal would open up the starting center spot for Jarrett Allen for good. However, given that Jordan is buddies with KD and Kyrie, the Nets may not consider dealing the aging center.
Possible Core rotation: Irving, LaVine, Porter Jr., Durant, Allen, Dinwiddie
Trade: Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen for Zach LaVine
Dinwiddie still has $23.7 million remaining on his current, deal with an opt-out option at the 2021-22 season. Allen, meanwhile, should be in the books for a salary raise by the end of the 2020-21 season.
They get to keep Caris LeVert in this situation, which could give them more options on the offensive end. Obviously, losing their two top reserves will sting, but LaVine’s addition should compensate their loss, especially Dinwiddie’s offering on the offensive end for the stringers. They will need to find a replacement for Allen, though, as he figures to provide the Nets with much-needed rim protection, something that DeAndre Jordan can offer in limited form at this point in his career.
The Nets would likely need to add a couple of picks in here to further convince Chicago to take this deal.
Possible Core rotation: Irving, LaVine, LeVert, Durant, Jordan, Prince
Trade: Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen for Zach LaVine
This one is probably going to sting Brooklyn, considering they’re giving up on two of their brightest prospects in Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen. In fact, this deal could be an overpay. But it’s a deal they need to take if they want to land LaVine and maximize this title window with Durant and Irving at the helm.
It’s not as if they’re completely giving up a ton of youth and upside here. LaVine, the same age as LeVert, is still just 25 years old and should be an upgrade, especially on offense. He should offer them more security as a legitimate third star to slot beside Durant and Irving.
However, the Nets will certainly feel the loss of Jarrett Allen to his elite shot-blocking prowess on the defensive end. They will likely need to look through free agency to bolster their frontcourt rotation and interior presence.
Possible core rotation: Irving, LaVine, Durant, Prince, Jordan, Dinwiddie