Zach LaVine

Could Bulls-Pistons find common ground on Zach LaVine deal?

The Athletic first reported that the teams have talked about the 2-time All-Star but work remains

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

LOS ANGELES --- Following Wednesday's practice, Chicago Bulls coach Billy Donovan talked generally about one potential roadblock for teams in the trade market.

"I think the thing that’s hard that I’m not always privy to in the front office is to have a deal, it takes two," Donovan said. "So you can sit there and want to do a lot of different things, but maybe the asking price is too much for it. Or there’s just nothing there. Someone may not be interested."

For the first time, a team has been identified that may have interest in Zach LaVine. The Athletic first reported that the Pistons and Bulls have had initial dialogue on some parameters of a LaVine deal.

Even though little market has materialized for LaVine, the Bulls, a league source said, have engaged in conversations with several teams on LaVine. The source said no talks, including the Pistons, have grown serious in nature to this point---although that obviously can change with one phone call.

According to The Athletic's James Edwards III, who covers the Pistons, the franchise "has no interest" in trading Cade Cunningham, Ausar Thompson, Jaden Ivey or Jalen Duran "in the immediate future" but the Bulls obviously have sought at least one of those players, plus Bojan Bogdanovic, in talks. The report goes on to state the Pistons may "make significant changes this summer," which likely would preclude a trade for LaVine before Feb. 8 given LaVine has three years and $138 million left on his deal.

The question, of course, becomes: How badly do the Bulls want to move off LaVine? Would they lower their asking price with the Pistons to, say, Bogdanovic, the expiring contract of Joe Harris and draft capital? Other iterations involving young players like Isaiah Stewart, Killian Hayes and James Wiseman could be made to work. Would the Pistons consider those?

To this point, a source said, the Bulls haven't moved off their stance of seeking a strong return for LaVine. In other words, at least as of recently, the Bulls aren't looking to move LaVine simply as a cost-saving move or in "addition by subtraction" thinking.

Again, that could change over the next two weeks. But that's where the Bulls were recently.

LaVine attended the Bulls' practice at his alma mater of UCLA on Wednesday and jokingly tried to give DeMar DeRozan, who went to USC, some gear. He appeared to be in good spirits---he wasn't made available to reporters---but remains sidelined by a sprained right ankle.

"Obviously he’s frustrated," Donovan said. "He wants to get over the ankle and get back on the floor and play. We’re just trying to support him as best we can."

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