SIXERS MAY BE ABLE TO GET ZACH LAVINE FOR PICKS ONLY!

By Tommy Matthews

Chicago tested the trade market for Zach LaVine at the February deadline, but it kept the asking price high — an All-Star level player plus picks.

No deal.

The Bulls have put LaVine back on the market but at a “significantly” lower price, reports K.C. Johnson at NBC Sports Chicago.

I do get the sense both sides are motivated to make something work this offseason. I don’t think the Bulls will take an awful deal if little materializes, but I do get the sense they’re open to more possibilities than before.

More to the point:

I’ve reported before what their asking price was—All-Star level talent, first-round picks or both—and my sense is that it has dropped significantly.

As I’ve said from the beginning regarding this situation: This is like a relationship that has run its course.

LaVine is a former All-Star and an elite isolation scorer who averaged 19.5 points a game this season and is a career 38.2% shooter from 3. However, he played just 25 games this season due to injury and has played 65 or more games in four of his 10 NBA seasons. Teams also have serious concerns about his lack of defense and how much he contributes to winning. In addition to the on-the-court concerns, LaVine is expensive, with three years and $138 million remaining on his contract. Combine all that, playoff teams were hesitant to get into the LaVine business, particularly at the prices Chicago was asking.

LaVine reportedly wanted to be traded to the Heat, 76ers, or Lakers, but it’s difficult to imagine any of those teams taking on LaVine’s salary at this point. Still, at a lower asking price the market should warm up for the two-time All-Star, and it will be interesting to see what teams do step up this summer — LaVine is a bucket, but not every team sees a fit.

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