Zach LaVine

Stat: Bulls have more wins without Zach LaVine than with him

The Bulls are 6-4 without LaVine and 5-13 with him

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On Dec. 6, the Bulls announced Zach LaVine would miss an additional 3-4 weeks on top of the week he missed leading up to the announcement for right foot inflammation.

Following that announcement, and his absence from the floor, the Bulls have been playing splendidly. They are 6-4 without LaVine on the floor, posting more wins in 10 games without LaVine than they did in 18 games with him (5-13 w/LaVine).

Within those wins include some impressive victories. They won four straight, at one point, including an overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, who stand second in the Eastern Conference. They also won in Miami against the Heat, who are seventh in the conference. On Monday, they defeated third-place Philadelphia 76ers, solidifying the Bulls' recent success without LaVine.

This is precisely the evaluation the Bulls were looking for as the NBA's Feb. 8 trade deadline approaches. While unfortunate due to injury, LaVine's absence helps give the Bulls a look at their roster without him.

NBC Sports Chicago's K.C. Johnson reported in late November that VP Arturas Karnišovas is responding to inquiries on other players by saying he wants to see what the roster looks like post-LaVine trade first. The Bulls are getting exactly that while LaVine remains sidelined with his foot injury.

LaVine will continue landing in trade rumors from now until the NBA trade deadline. Whether or not a trade materializes remains to be seen. But it's well-documented that at this juncture both the Bulls and LaVine are open to finding the latter a new home.

It appears the Bulls are operating with a malleable trade deadline strategy, barring their ability to trade LaVine. For now, the Bulls have rebuffed all interested suitors in Alex Caruso. And DeMar DeRozan is valued internally by the organization, according to Johnson's reporting.

But the Bulls' success without LaVine raises questions. Will LaVine's hypothetical trade market thin seeing as the Bulls are performing better without him? It's well known his max contract is difficult to move, assuming any interested suitor would rather him be a second or third option. That's a heavy number to eat for that caliber of player.

Either way, the Bulls are playing well, giving management a clearer picture of how they want to steer the team.

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