Spurs Trade For Bulls’ Zach LaVine In New Blockbuster Proposal

Zach LaVine, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Every tram in the NBA has a timeline. That timeline is based on when they’re hoping to win an NBA championship. Some teams are hoping to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy ahead of next summer. Others are thinking about championship glory in a half-decade or so. 

With that said, teams can accelerate their timeline, too. A team that’s just selected a potential superstar could choose to take a leap of faith and start putting co-stars around them. Moreover, a team can abandon their timeline. A group that was built to win now that’s failing expectations can be destroyed in favor of a new timeline. 

For example, take the Chicago Bulls. This team was built to win, and in 2022-23, they didn’t win nearly enough. That’s why plenty of fans are expecting them to blow up their roster soon. Could they help the Spurs accelerate their timeline by sending them Zach LaVine? 

The Trade Proposal 

Chicago Bulls Receive: G/F Keldon Johnson, F Reggie Bullock, G Devonte’ Graham, 2025 First-Round Pick (ATL via SAS), 2027 First-Round Pick (SAS) 
San Antonio Spurs Receive: G/F Zach LaVine 

One thing is certain: whichever timeline that the Spurs embrace, there are title expectations around this team now. Drafting Victor Wembanyama made that a reality. If he doesn’t deliver the Spurs a championship, his tenure with the team will be viewed as a disappointment. Is that fair? 

It depends on who you ask. On the one hand, plenty of players have fallen victim to expectation. We’ve seen draft busts many times throughout NBA history. On the other hand, what are we to do about it? Wembanyama is an outlier physical species. His blend of skill and length is unparalleled. How can we not build expectations around his kid? 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls & San Antonio Spurs Updates

We may have a problem without a solution here. The best we can do is to avoid putting undue expectations on Wembanyama. He needs to be great, but suggestions that, say, a Hakeem Olajuwon career arch would be a disappointment are not helpful. Would pairing him with LaVine help him achieve greatness?

Why The San Antonio Spurs Do The Deal 

This all boils down to the timeline for the Spurs. This organization would struggle to justify trading for an older star. Making a move for a younger player would be the obvious choice. What about a player that’s squarely in his prime like LaVine? 

There’s a gamble here. The Spurs would be hoping that Wembanyama would enter his prime before the 28-year-old LaVine exited his. In that event, their next hope would be that Wembanyama hit his ceiling. If both of those things happened, the Spurs would be pairing a top-5ish player with a top-30ish player. That’s a recipe for an NBA championship. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls & San Antonio Spurs Updates

The fit here would have to be enticing for the Spurs. Wembanyama doesn’t project as an alpha scorer. His well-rounded, two-way dominance ought to be his calling card. Adding a pure bucket-getter like LaVine ought to make it easier for Wembanyama to control every other facet of the game. Should the Bulls part with one of the best scorers in the game?

Why The Chicago Bulls Do The Deal 

If anything, LaVine’s time with the Bulls points to the difficulties of building around a pure scorer. This is a player who’s probably more equipped to be a second fiddle than a first option. If the Bulls agree, trading LaVine would be wise. After all, they don’t have the assets to make a move for their new number one option. 

So, they should pursue that player through the draft. The Bulls aren’t likely to land top lottery odds with LaVine on the roster. This trade is about Ron Holland or Matas Buzelis as much as it’s about the incoming pieces. With that said, Johnson is a young player who the Bulls should be happy to add. The Spurs may be comfortable parting with him with Devin Vassell on the roster, but the Bulls could use a young, shot-creating wing. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls & San Antonio Spurs Updates

They could also use a pair of unprotected first-round picks. Otherwise, the veterans that Chicago are receiving are here to make the money work. They won’t find much use for them – after all, this team will be resetting their timeline. 

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About James Piercey 3875 Articles
When it comes to exploring the endless possibilities of NBA trades, there's no one quite like James Piercey. With a keen eye for player dynamics, salary cap intricacies, and a knack for discovering uncharted trade territory, James has risen to prominence as the preeminent expert in the realm of hypothetical NBA trades. James is also known for his work covering the Houston Rockets for SB Nation's The Dream Shake — a blog that gives a daily, comprehensive look at the team. He has written for various outlets, including FanSided and Last Word on Sports, among others.