LaVine signed a new deal with the Bulls last offseason, but the team could look to revamp its roster this offseason with several key players nearing or ready to hit free agency.
“But if the Trail Blazers are in fact keeping all-world guard Damian Lillard, could that make LaVine the next hot commodity for teams like the Trail Blazers or Miami?” Cowley wrote. “Realistically, a handful of doors from other teams would have to be slammed in Portland’s face for the Blazers to come around for LaVine.”
Chicago has a tough decision to make this offseason, as center Nikola Vucevic is a free agent. The team gave up precious draft capital – and young big man Wendell Carter Jr. – to acquire Vucevic, and it certainly doesn’t want to let him walk for nothing this offseason.
In addition to that, DeMar DeRozan is entering the final season of his contract with Chicago in the 2023-24 campaign. If the Bulls decide that this core isn’t working, they may want to move on from it now to at least get something in return for some of their stars.
The Heat could make a competitive offer for LaVine by trading either guard Kyle Lowry, another player for salary filler and draft capital to the Bulls or by moving guard Tyler Herro.
Portland, who could still be looking to build around Lillard, could offer the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft or young players like Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe.
One Bulls insider recently revealed what interested teams might have to part ways with in order to acquire LaVine.
“One league source said the Bulls would be focused on getting a good young player, multiple first-round picks and salary filler if they decide to trade LaVine,” wrote K.C. Johnson. “Another said one first-round pick and an established, high-end player might be sufficiently intriguing.”
LaVine is under contract through the 2025-26 season and has a player option on his deal for the 2026-27 campaign. The two-time All-Star is still just 28 years old, so he could be a piece for years to come in Miami if the team deals for him.
During the 2022-23 season, LaVine appeared in 77 games for the Bulls and played 35.9 minutes per game. He averaged 24.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc.