Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine voiced his frustrations after being benched by head coach Billy Donovan late in the fourth quarter during a recent loss to the Orlando Magic. While LaVine apparently patched things up with Donovan, the Bulls’ 8-11 record and LaVine’s own struggles have some wondering if the team will look to go in a new direction if things don’t improve soon, even after giving the star shooting guard a $215 million max deal in free agency. As the Dallas Mavericks stumble along despite Luka Doncic’s MVP-level play, they should look into LaVine’s availability and make an offer.
There are no signs the Bulls are even entertaining a LaVine trade right now, but it never hurts to put in a call and see what they’re thinking. That’s especially true for a Mavs team that sits at just 9-9 after a third straight loss. While LaVine’s early struggles this season are concerning after his offseason knee surgery, the expectation is he’ll find his groove again as his athleticism and rhythm return. LaVine is averaging 21.0 points, 4.2 assists, and 4.1 rebounds while shooting just 40.8% from the field and 36.5% from 3-point range, so there’s plenty of room for improvement as he seeks to regain his All-Star form.
So, what would a Zach LaVine trade offer look like from the Mavs’ side?
Mavs get: Zach LaVine and Coby White
Bulls get: Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Green, multiple first-round picks
With this trade, the Mavs would bring in some much-needed star power to help out Doncic, giving them a versatile scorer and playmaker who lessens Doncic’s load offensively. Having these two All-Stars playing side-by-side would give Dallas one of the league’s most potent superstar tandems.
Between Doncic’s well-rounded game and sky-high basketball IQ and LaVine’s limitless scoring range, stellar playmaking, and athleticism, the Mavs would create all kinds of mismatches for opposing defenses. This would make the Mavs more lethal in the transition game and give them even better floor spacing. Coby White would also give Dallas another shooting option to space the floor around Doncic. Adding LaVine and White to a rotation featuring Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, Christian Wood, JaVale McGee, Maxi Kleber, Reggie Bullock, and Davis Bertans would undoubtedly make a Dallas a top-five scoring team in the NBA.
On the other end of this deal, the Bulls would welcome in a group of talented role players while collecting some desperately needed draft capital as well. Chicago gave up a lot of draft picks to build a flawed core that seems to have a cap on its ceiling, so refilling the first-round pick chest here would be an attractive option in addition to the players involved in the deal.
Overall, this Zach LaVine trade would mean drastic changes to both rosters. Given the investment the Bulls just made in LaVine, it would be a surprise to see them move on from him so soon. However, his recent displeasure and poor play could have Chicago feeling some buyer’s remorse.
If the Bulls get serious about moving on from LaVine, or if they continue to struggle and he starts plotting an exit, the Mavs must be ready to strike. Dallas can’t afford to putter along with Doncic playing at such a high level as the franchise centerpiece. They need to be competing for championships after reaching the Western Conference Finals last season.
Stay tuned to see if this idea goes anywhere in the near future.