Report: Zach LaVine ‘privately has questioned’ role with Bulls
The Bulls paid Zach LaVine to be their No. 1, giving him a five-year, $215.2 million max contract over the summer. Chicago is not trading him.
But what is his role on the Bulls? Even LaVine “privately has questioned” his role and standing in the franchise, NBC Sports Bulls insider K.C. Johnson said on Monday’s Bulls Talk podcast.
DeRozan has been the go-to option in crunch time, and questions about chemistry and fit between DeRozan and LaVine are not new. The questions about the Bulls are bigger than that, however, starting with where Nikola Vucevic fits in this mix. The bottom line is that the Bulls sit at 16-21, outside even the play-in in the East right now.Is it time for a trade? Don’t bet on a big one at the trade deadline, but NBC Sports Chicago’s Johnson says it’s time to think about it come the offseason.
The Bulls’ Big Three may not be a failure. But it does have a ceiling, particularly with the future of Lonzo Ball unknown. Ball seemed to be the straw the stirred the drink to unlock the trio’s fullest potential.
Trading DeRozan could help the Bulls do a reset on the fly, much like the Utah Jazz did when it parted ways with franchise stalwarts Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. The Jazz remain competitive this season, with a stockpile of draft assets from both deals and a potential All-Star in Lauri Markkanen acquired in the Mitchell transaction.Trading DeRozan also takes the Bulls away from the decision on whether to extend him or not; he’s extension-eligible this offseason and signed through 2023-24. While DeRozan is still playing at an All-NBA level and possesses the type of game that will seemingly age gracefully, the Bulls can’t tie their future to two players in their 30s like DeRozan and Nikola Vučević.
Whatever LaVine’s role with the Bulls this season — and he’s still averaging 22.7 points per game — he is not going anywhere. He is the cornerstone of whatever is next in Chicago, the question is who will be around him?