Zach LaVine Emerges as Trade Target for Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers

June 22, 2023

In a recent report, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times highlighted the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers as potential landing spots for Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine. As the Bulls contemplate a roster overhaul with key players nearing free agency, LaVine’s availability on the trade market has garnered significant attention.

While LaVine signed a new deal with the Bulls last offseason, the team could be looking to reshape its core with several essential players on the verge of hitting free agency. However, Cowley noted that for the Trail Blazers to pursue LaVine, they would likely need to face some disappointments with other trade targets, particularly if they intend to retain their star guard Damian Lillard.

The Bulls, facing crucial decisions this offseason, have center Nikola Vucevic entering free agency. Acquiring Vucevic came at the cost of valuable draft assets and promising big young man Wendell Carter Jr., making it imperative for the Bulls to avoid losing him without compensation. DeMar DeRozan is entering the final season of his contract with the Bulls in the upcoming 2023-24 campaign. If the team concludes that the current core is not working, they may explore trade opportunities to extract value from their star players.

Among the potential suitors for LaVine, the Miami Heat could present a competitive offer by including guard Kyle Lowry, along with other players for salary matching purposes, and draft picks. Alternatively, the Heat might consider including guard Tyler Herro in a trade package to entice the Bulls. Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers, still eager to build around Damian Lillard, could offer enticing assets such as the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and young players like Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe.

Insiders familiar with the Bulls’ stance on a potential LaVine trade have provided some insight. One league source mentioned that the Bulls would likely seek a promising young player, multiple first-round picks, and salary filler if they decide to part ways with LaVine. Another source suggested that an established high-end player and a single first-round pick could pique the Bulls’ interest.

LaVine, a two-time All-Star, is currently under contract with the Bulls until the 2025-26 season, with a player option for the 2026-27 campaign. At just 28 years old, he possesses considerable value as a long-term asset for any team, including the Miami Heat, should they acquire him.

During the 2022-23 season, LaVine showcased his skills in 77 games for the Bulls, averaging 24.8 pts, 4.5 rebs, and 4.2 assists per game. He shot an impressive 48.5 percent from the field and maintained a solid 37.5 percent from beyond the arc.

As the NBA offseason progresses, trade rumors surrounding Zach LaVine are expected to intensify, with both the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers potentially emerging as frontrunners for the talented guard. The coming weeks will reveal whether the Bulls are willing to part ways with LaVine and how these interested teams will structure their offers to secure his services.