The Toronto Raptors have been viewed as everybody’s favorite potential fire sale target, as they could sell Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby if things start to go sideways. If they buck those trends and decide to trade for a potential star, taking a look at Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine could become an option.
The Bulls appear to be angling towards a more earnest rebuild after this season, as their flawed roster seems like an increasingly untenable allotment of players. LaVine might have the most value of anyone in their top trio that also features DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic.
LaVine suitors have started popping up in recent days, with contenders like the Lakers and Heat reportedly getting linked to him alongside less heralded names like the Kings and Spurs. Against all odds, a Raptors team with a minimal bench and a dearth of future tradeable picks might throw their name in the ring.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Raptors are expected to have “some level of interest in LaVine” as trade talks start to heat up. Will the Raptors actually make progress toward getting a deal done, or is this yet another example of the front office getting linked to a player they have no intention of acquiring?
NBA rumors: Toronto Raptors interested in Zach LaVine.
There are pitfalls that will come with acquiring LaVine. The Raptors would lose what little depth they have on their bench to bring him in while being saddled with two more years of a very expensive contract. LaVine would also take a good amount of shots away from Scottie Barnes.
Should everything start to click, however, LaVine could give this offense the jolt they are looking for. Still an elite scorer and high-end athlete, adding LaVine to the mix will help with Toronto’s terrible spacing while keeping Darko Rajakovic’s free-flowing offense intact.
The Raptors must be prepared to surrender some significant contracts if they want to make this deal happen, and acquiring LaVine would put them in a financial bind due to how hard it would be to move his contract again. The final decision in this matter will ultimately come down to Masai Ujiri.
Toronto’s pursuit of LaVine is an exercise in how committed Ujiri is to winning in 2023-24. If he thinks this group can make a run, LaVine could come to town. If not, respect him to suit up for another contender once the Bulls pull the ripcord.