Zach LaVine

Report: Bulls' Zach LaVine ‘very amenable' to Kings' trade

Bulls' All-Star guard will remain in rumor mill until he's traded---or Feb. 8 deadline if he's not

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PHILADELPHIA --- Chicago Bulls All-Star guard Zach LaVine "would be very amenable to a Sacramento move," according to sourced reporting from Sam Amick in The Athletic.

LaVine's agent, Rich Paul, also went on record with Amick to push back on the theory that it's "the Los Angeles Lakers or bust" for his client, whom the Bulls are united with in trying to find him a new home before the Feb. 8 trade deadline.

"It’s not one team,” Paul told Amick. “I don’t have a specific destination for Zach. I want what’s best for Zach and his family. When you have a guy playing the game, you want him to be able to play the game happy, whether that’s in Chicago or somewhere else.”

The "whether that's in Chicago" piece is important and is consistent with what NBC Sports Chicago wrote last week, that "there’s a reasonable scenario in which LaVine remains with the Bulls past the Feb. 8 deadline." And the Kings emerging as a new potential landing spot should be viewed with that perspective. Both sides are motivated to find a deal but, at least to this point, little market has developed. So creating a hypothetical market is all that's left for now.

That's not to say a team hasn't shown interest---on their terms---or that multiple teams won't show interest moving closer to the Feb. 8 deadline. Matters change in the NBA all the time. But at least for now, NBC Sports Chicago has reported previously that other rumors landing spots beyond the Lakers, like the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and New York Knicks, haven't produced any traction.

LaVine, out for weeks with inflammation in his right foot, is on this three-game trip with the Bulls. He's been engaged and in good spirts, cheering on his teammates and doing some light shooting on the court. Between rehabilitation work, he's had good dialogue with the coaching staff. Donovan said they talk daily.

"He really, really misses the game," Donovan said. "The other thing is he has really been great on the bench, in the locker room pulling for those guys. Whenever he’s able to get back with us, he’s always been a good team guy. He’s always had good response to his teammates."

Donovan said LaVine also has started straight-ahead running but has yet to begin cutting. Whenever LaVine is cleared to play, Donovan said he will need a "ramp-up of physical activity in a practice or against player development guys where he can get himself going. But there’s been no setbacks."

As for re-acclimating to the style of play the Bulls are currently employing, where ball movement is favored over isolation, Donovan said "whenever there’s a period of time where a player is out, everybody kind of readjusts to playing together again. That’s just normal."

LaVine publicly detailed his commitment and support for his teammates on December 7 as his trade and injury sagas play out.

“Am I still a part of this team and very committed? Yeah. I got a Bulls jersey on. I committed here," LaVine said that day. "And for as long as I’ll be here, I’ll still support and love Chicago and go out there and play my heart out for those guys. That’s never going to change.

“There’s going to be different stories and narratives. And there’s going to be off-the-court stuff that’s going to be dealt with. For me, as long as I’m here with a Bulls jersey on, I’m going to play as hard as I can for my teammates and continue to be the best player and teammate I can be. Simple as that.”

Trading LaVine, however, isn't simple. With three years and roughly $138 million remaining after this season, plus a 15 percent trade kicker that could be waived, it's a large contract to add. Particularly if a team is adding him to complement other stars and with a more punitive collective bargaining agreement for luxury tax teams in effect.

Plenty of twists and turns will come in this storyline between now and the day either he's traded or the Feb. 8 deadline if he's not. Stay tuned.

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