Hawks Trade For Bulls’ Zach LaVine In New Blockbuster Proposal

Zach LaVine, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

In the NBA, a backcourt is a partnership. Ideally, you’ve got a pair of guards with skills that complement each other. Perhaps it’s a ball-dominant playmaker and a lethal off-ball threat. Either way, you’re looking for synergy between your two starting guards. 

When the Atlanta Hawks acquired Dejounte Murray, they thought they were assembling a coherent backcourt. We understand the logic. Trae Young is an outstanding offensive player, but he’s a subpar defender. On the other hand, Murray is one of the best defensive guards in the league. This made some sense on paper. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t look great on the offensive end. Why? Well, because Murray is more of a ball-dominant playmaker as well. He’s not a great shooter, so when Young had the ball, he didn’t offer much regarding gravity. Some folks suggest that the Hawks could break up their backcourt early. Could they acquire Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls in the process? 

The Trade Proposal 

Chicago Bulls Receive: G Dejounte Murray, G Patty Mills, C Bruno Fernando 

Atlanta Hawks Receive: G/F Zach LaVine 

On the other hand, the Bulls haven’t had the luxury of seeing their ideal backcourt rotation in action. Sure, LaVine and Alex Caruso are a good duo. Still, that’s not what the team envisioned. Lonzo Ball was supposed to hold down the starting point guard spot. 

It’s an unfortunate situation. Ball is slated to miss his second consecutive season due to injury. At this point, it’s impossible to say whether he’ll ever take to an NBA floor again. This is a loss. Ball is a joy to watch. He’s among the best 3-and-D guards in the NBA and an outstanding passer. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls & Atlanta Hawks Updates

Here’s hoping he can resume his NBA career. In the meantime, the Bulls are at a crossroads. They had a very disappointing 2022-23 season. Plenty of fans are calling for the Bulls to blow up their roster. Would acquiring Murray instead be a better move? 

Why The Chicago Bulls Do The Deal 

The Bulls may have reservations about this move. If they’re moving to LaVine, they may want to start over. Why acquire a player who’s only one year younger? What’s the purpose of acquiring Ball’s replacement if he’s coming at LaVine’s expense? 

Well, the Bulls may not want to rebuild. They may prefer to retool. If so, Murray and LaVine are roughly equal regarding overall impact. LaVine is a much more dynamic scorer, but Murray is a much better defender – and a slightly better playmaker. This deal could allow the Bulls to stay relevant. If the pieces on this squad develop the right chemistry, they could even improve. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls & Atlanta Hawks Updates

For what it’s worth, Murray and Caruso would be the best defensive backcourt in the NBA by a long shot. The Bulls may want to make further moves to address their lack of shooting, but this could be an interesting group if they can do so. Should the Hawks downgrade their defense? 

Why The Atlanta Hawks Do The Deal 

The Hawks wanted to cover for Young’s defensive limitations. That’s fair. The optimal backcourt partner for Young may be an off-guard like Klay Thompson or Desmond Bane. LaVine is not that type of player. What’s the plan here? 

Double down on offense. Throw caution to the wind. LaVine is an average defender at best. This deal has the Hawks undergoing an entire philosophical shift. They’ll get their defense from their frontcourt and their offense from their guards. It may sound crazy, but at the same time, it may be crazy enough to work. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls & Atlanta Hawks Updates

How do you guard Young and LaVine? Offensively, this is a perfect fit. Young is an elite playmaker, and LaVine is a pure bucket-getter. All told, they ought to make for good partners. 

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