Report: Zach LaVine points to Miami Heat as preferred landing spot

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Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat are allegedly one of Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine’s preferred landing spots. He also reportedly has the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings on his list.

“LaVine and his representation hold several preferred landing spots, such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers, league sources told Yahoo Sports, and each team has registered some level of interest in the Bulls guard,” Jake Fischer wrote. “LaVine also has an eye on joining the San Antonio Spurs, sources said, in order to pair with rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama and reunite with head coach Gregg Popovich, who oversaw the 2020 Team USA outfit that LaVine helped win a gold medal in Tokyo. There are several other contending situations LaVine would welcome joining, sources said, one being Sacramento. The Kings signed LaVine to an offer sheet during his restricted free agency in 2018, albeit before this present front office regime took the reins in Northern California.”

The Heat were tied to star guards Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday in trade rumors at different points of the offseason but missed out on all three players. Beal was dealt to the Phoenix Suns, Lillard was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks and Holiday was moved to the Boston Celtics.

Out of all of LaVine’s preferred landing spots, the Heat stand out as arguably the team that would give him the best chance of winning a championship this season. After all, Miami is fresh off an NBA Finals appearance. The Heat were the first team to reach the NBA Finals as a No. 8 seed since the New York Knicks all the way back in 1999.

Plus, the Heat are off to a promising start to the 2023-24 regular season. They own a solid 8-4 record — the third-best record in the Eastern Conference behind only the Celtics and 76ers — and are riding a seven-game winning streak, which is the longest active winning streak in the league right now.

For as great as the Heat are playing right now, the acquisition of LaVine would raise Miami’s offensive attack to another level of lethality. The shooting guard can score from inside and outside the 3-point arc and also earns himself trips to the free-throw line consistently. He’s averaging an impressive 5.8 free-throw attempts per game so far this season.

Considering how the Bulls own a 4-8 record and seem to be headed for another mediocre season, it seemingly is only a matter of time until the team decides to trade LaVine and enter a rebuild. The Bulls have experienced limited success since acquiring LaVine from the Minnesota Timberwolves ahead of the 2017-18 season, as the team has reached the playoffs just once with the 28-year-old, and it was eliminated in the first round.

Expect to see the Heat in trade rumors regarding LaVine in the months leading up to the trade deadline, which is on Feb. 8.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.