We’re exactly a week away from the 2022-23 NBA Trade Deadline and there’s not a clear indication on who will sell outside of the Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and the Detroit Pistons.
One team who could be looking to sell off parts is the Chicago Bulls, who are 23-27 and are tied with the Indiana Pacers for the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference. And one name that’s surfaced in recent trade scuttlebutt was Bulls guard Zach LaVine, who just signed a five-year extension this last offseason.
And, to nobody’s surprise, the Heat were mentioned among such rumors, per Yahoo Sports! NBA insider Jake Fischer:
“The Lakers, Heat, Knicks and Mavericks have consistently been mentioned by league personnel as holding motivations to land LaVine if the time does arrive,” Fischer reported Thursday.
“For any team holding onto hope for LaVine’s availability, or that Bradley Beal will one day ask out of Washington, or whether Trae Young ever seeks a trade from the Hawks, it might actually be wise for stars to avoid creating a proverbial list of destination teams. Recent NBA history seems to suggest that when such a player expresses his preferences for his next employer, those very teams often come up empty.”
LaVine hasn’t had a bad season to his standards, but it hasn’t been a great one either. He’s averaging 23.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists. He’s shooting 46.1 percent from the floor and 37.7 percent from 3-point range (7.6 attempts) with a 83.5 free-throw percentage — equating to a 58.5 true-shooting percentage. His name has been hypothetically linked to Miami in the past because of Pat Riley’s known influence for wanting star talent, and it’s not surprising the Heat to be directly in the market for him, should he be available.
The 27-year-old is in the first year of a five-year, $215 million extension — at $37.1 million this season with a $49.0 million player option tacked onto the final year in 2026-27. In today’s market Miami would have to give at least two first-round picks, Kyle Lowry and/or Duncan Robinson (for money matching purposes), Nikola Jovic and at least one of Max Strus/Omer Yurtseven/Gabe Vincent. Lowry has one more year left on his deal and could be a temporary Lonzo Ball fill-in, while Strus, Yurtseven and Vincent are all on expiring deals.
The big question is: Is Miami’s assets enough to get a deal like that done? Maybe, or maybe not. It feels like a long-shot that any deal for LaVine occurs, but crazier things have happened at the deadline.
What do you think? Comment below!