Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Detroit Pistons mentioned as a potential trade partner for Bulls Star

By meerna Jun12,2024

For the second straight summer, the Chicago Bulls are watching them as their star star Zach LaVine could become one of the most significant players on the league’s trade block.

There was a lot of smoke surrounding a potential LaVine-Chicago divorce last year. Since the two-time All-Star will be owed a lot of money for years to come, it was believed that the Bulls could be in for a soft reset with the assets they would acquire in LaVine’s package.

However, the fact that LaVine is owed hundreds of millions of dollars makes his suitors hesitant to offer a desirable package in the eyes of the Bulls. LaVine remained in Chicago for the start of the 2023-2024 NBA season.

As it became clear that tensions were building, trade talks became louder throughout the season. Things quickly went quiet when LaVine got injured.

LaVine appeared in just 25 games for the Bulls last season. It’s unclear whether the time away from the court will allow everyone to return to Chicago in the fall with clear minds and ready to re-establish their relationships, but it’s clear that the trade smoke hasn’t cleared.

Last week, a Bulls insider suggested that this could be the year the Bulls part ways with LaVine. Athletic Darnell Mayberry once again views the LaVine saga as one of the biggest question marks for the organization this offseason.

“The bulls outgrew him,” writes Mayberry. “Rival teams are unsure if LaVine is worth committing. LaVine is coming off surgery on his right foot with three years and $138 million remaining on his contract.

Bulls star Zach LaVine is guarded by Detroit Pistons star Cade Cunningham.

November 12, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) is defended by Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) and guard Killian Hayes (7) during the first half at the United Center. Mandatory pass: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Given the state of his contract, competing teams may have a hard time viewing any trade price for LaVine as a bargain. However, if the market remains dry for a second straight offseason, there may come a point where Chicago puts a reasonable price on LaVine’s services.

If that happened, Mayberry predicted “a dozen or so” teams that would need a shake-up to get there. As expected, the Detroit Pistons could be one of them.

If there’s one thing the Pistons have learned from looking at the Bulls from the outside, it’s that Zach LaVine doesn’t take the team on his shoulders and carry him through the playoffs alone. With the Bulls, LaVine helped lead to a winning percentage of 42 in nearly 400 games.

For what it’s worth, the Bulls lacked a reliable point guard for most of LaVine’s time in Chicago. With Lonzo Ball, the Bulls were 22-13 and looked like a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, a knee injury interrupted his career for several seasons.

Perhaps pairing LaVine with young and emerging point guard Cade Cunningham could help unlock the All-Star level that LaVine undoubtedly possesses.

There may come a time when the Pistons become desperate to acquire a significant star. As a 14-win team last season, the Pistons’ league-leading position isn’t attractive enough for some of the league’s top free agents. And if any of the top-tier stars end up in Detroit, many will wonder if the player has the will to win given the state of his franchise.

Detroit could be on the trade market. They’ll have to think long and hard about whether it’s worth paying LaVine that much over the next two, and potentially three, seasons, but it’s not a scenario they can afford to look the other way.

It’s time to show Cade Cunningham that his time in Detroit won’t be wasted.

By meerna

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