Report: Zach LaVine would ‘welcome’ trade to Kings originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
Could the Kings be in the market to add another star player?
Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reported Friday, citing sources, that Chicago Bulls star guard Zach LaVine would “welcome” a trade to the Kings after The Athletic reported LaVine and the team share a mutual interest in finding a trade.
Five years after LaVine agreed to a four-year $80 million contract offer sheet with the Kings in July 2018, which the Bulls ended up matching, the star guard still might have interest in Sacramento.
While it’s intriguing to envision a big three of Lavine, De’Aaron Fox, and Domantas Sabonis together in the state’s capital, dealing for the Bulls star could prove complicated for a few reasons.
During an appearance on “Kings Postgame Live,” NBC Sports California contributor Marc Stein detailed why any teams interested in trading for LaVine will face a handful of obstacles if they attempt to get a deal done anytime soon.
“Here’s the thing, it’s realistically too soon for true suitors to emerge for Zach LaVine,” Stein said. “And the reason is his contract is massive. He’s only in Year 2 of a contract that’s worth $215 million. That is not easy to move. Now, because the Kings once signed Zach LaVine to an offer sheet, I think there will always be a connection drawn between the Kings and Lavine from that perspective. And obviously, I think from his side there will always be some interest there because again, he did sign the contract with Sacramento with a previous front-office, not this one, that Chicago ended up matching the first time LaVine got a big deal in free agency.
“But you have to remember, in mid-November, we saw James Harden traded, but that was the culmination of a months-long situation that started with a trade request right before free agency. The reality is, in mid-November, you don’t typically see a lot of trade action. And that’s because a third of the league can’t even be traded until after December 15, when the majority of last summer’s free-agent guys become trade-eligible.”
Stein once again reiterated that as riveting as the conversations are about a potential move for LaVine, it’s too soon to expect a deal to manifest this early into the NBA season.
“We all love the transaction game and trade talk,” Stein said. “It’s probably a touch too soon to start highlighting Team A, B, or C in terms of Zach LaVine. But that said, it is a hot topic. It’s been the buzz of the week, and I suspect that talk is only going to get louder unless Chicago turns things around and starts winning games.”
Lavine is a two-time All-Star who has career averages of 20.5 points, four rebounds, and 3.9 assists with a 46.3 percent field goal percentage across parts of 10 NBA seasons.
The cost for LaVine likely will be steep, and the hurdles with the NBA calendar will be challenging to clear. Still, the fact that the Kings reportedly are an ideal destination for a star player on the move speaks volumes to the culture the franchise cultivated during their recent resurgence.