Could Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine be the next star who becomes available?
Just months after the Bulls signed LaVine to a five-year, $215 million extension, rival executives get the sense that LaVine "isn't considered off the table" in trade talks, according to Matt Moore of The Action Network.
Chicago would want "star assets" back for LaVine, but it sounds like he could be had for the right offer.
The New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks (prior to the Kyrie Irving trade) are among the teams that have expressed interest in LaVine, according to Jamal Collier of ESPN.
While Collier notes that the Bulls have shown little interest in moving LaVine before the deadline, perhaps this is a situation worth monitoring going forward.
LaVine has acknowledged the trade rumors, telling ESPN: "Team's not playing well, so you're always going to hear those stories." He added that he signed an extension with the Bulls because he wanted to stay in Chicago and that hasn't changed.
This season, LaVine is averaging 23.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.8 threes and a steal, while shooting 46.4% from the field, 37.7% from three-point range and 84.3% from the free-throw line.
This season hasn't gone as planned for the Bulls. Chicago is currently 26-27, which is the ninth-best record in the Eastern Conference. They have the NBA's 11th-best offense (scoring 112.3 points per 100 possessions) and 12th-best defense (allowing 110.6 points per 100 possessions).
While the team has struggled, Bulls head coach Billy Donovan isn't ready to blow up the roster.
"I'm not at a point to say, 'OK, this just can't work,'" Donovan said, per ESPN. "I think there's too much substance of guys that are good guys who want to do the right things and care. But ... we don't have any margin for error at all."