Hornets Trade For Bulls’ Zach LaVine In Proposal

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls, NBA Trade Rumors, Charlotte Hornets
NBA Analysis Network

Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine finds himself in a complicated situation right now. He’s become a fixture in NBA trade rumors despite not having outright requested a change of scenery, along with the team not actively seeking to rebuild. Could this change?

Much of the NBA is focused on what will ultimately transpire with Damian Lillard’s trade request and continually complicated desire to land with the Miami Heat. James Harden wants to be traded, too. If LaVine was to enter the mix, there’d be plenty of teams interested.

The Charlotte Hornets are under new ownership and could use a bold splash in order to show LaMelo Ball they mean business about wanting to compete. Could they be a potential trade suitor to acquire LaVine if he was to come available?

The Trade Proposal

Chicago Bulls Receive: F Gordon Hayward, G James Bouknight, 2026 First-Round Pick (CHA), 2027 First-Round Pick Swap (CHA), 2028 First-Round Pick (CHA)
Charlotte Hornets Receive: G Zach LaVine

There isn’t much room for positivity when evaluating the current outlook of this Bulls team. There is unquestionably some intriguing individual talents, but there isn’t a superstar to set the tone, while there is a real lack of an identify that translates to winning basketball.

Ultimately, there isn’t much question about whether the Bulls should pursue a rebuild. Given they did not control their own first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, tearing the roster apart at that time would not have offered the opportunity to add an elite prospect.

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls & Charlotte Hornets Updates

With the Bulls controlling their first-round pick in 2024, there is incentive to move on from the top talents on the roster in exchange for trade value. LaVine would bring Chicago the most value in exchange. Any deal with future draft capital would make the most sense. Should the Hornets do this deal?

Why The Charlotte Hornets Do This Deal

There is a solid foundation now established for the Hornets, with Ball as the franchise-cornerstone and Brandon Miller being added with the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Keeping both players, but adding an intriguing talent to complement them could lead to greater results.

One of the drawbacks that come from the Hornets as a trade partner is their lack of a 2024 first-round pick to offer as the San Antonio Spurs own it. There protections 1-14 on the Hornets’ outgoing first-round pick in 2024 and 2025, meaning they are restricted from including their 2026 first-round pick in a trade.

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls & Charlotte Hornets Updates

As a result of the Hornets’ limitations in draft capital in the short-term, it could impact the potential trade targets they could pursue unless they prove willing to include Ball or Miller in a deal. As a result, LaVine could be the right caliber of player to pursue on the trade block, if the opportunity was present.

Why The Chicago Bulls Do This Deal

If it becomes time to rebuild, this would make sense. It remains to be seen how attractive of a trade return the Bulls can ultimately command for LaVine given how large of a contract he’s signed to along with his injury history. There will naturally be teams reluctant to take on his deal as a result.

While the Hornets are unable to offer the ideal draft compensation that would quickly jumpstart a rebuild for the Bulls, taking on Hayward’s expiring contract would be a helpful method to clear their salary cap sheet long-term. There isn’t much value surrounding James Bouknight right now, but perhaps he could be a low-risk young player to give an opportunity to prove himself.

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls & Charlotte Hornets Updates

If the Bulls’ focus shifted to undergoing a rebuild, they could quickly move DeMar DeRozan’s expiring contract to a contender. There are other impactful role players like Alex Caruso, who Chicago could look to trade for additional assets.

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