7 Zach LaVine trades that tilt the balance of power in the NBA

The Chicago Bulls and Zach LaVine appear to have crossed the Rubicon, as the pair have publicly opened the door to a trade. These are seven trades that could land the two-time All-Star with a more competitive franchise. 
Detroit Pistons v Chicago Bulls
Detroit Pistons v Chicago Bulls / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
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5. Zach LaVine to the Golden State Warriors

A mere 10 days ago, on Nov. 6, the Golden State Warriors looked like a real threat to unseat the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference. They were 6-2 and clicking on all cylinders. Then the past 10 days happened. 

In that span, they’ve lost four straight games, Stephen Curry has undergone an MRI on a sore knee, and Draymond Green got suspended for five games because he decided that putting Rudy Gobert in a choke hold counts as de-escalation. 

The Warriors, much like the Lakers with LeBron, don’t have many more chances to win a title with this core, which is why they need to consider breaking up their Hall of Fame trio to land Zach LaVine. 

Zach Lavine to Warriors

Klay Thompson is a Warriors legend, but he’s past his prime, and the rash of injuries he suffered between 2019 and 2021 have taken their toll. LaVine is a clear upgrade on Thompson at this point and gives the Warriors a better chance over the next few seasons to hand another banner. 

The Bulls should find this trade intriguing because of Thompson’s expiring $40 million salary. By flipping LaVine for Thompson, they’ll net one unprotected first-round pick and two swaps and shave over $140 million off their books. 

While the Warriors may be unenthusiastic to inherit so much future financial cost, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement makes aggregating salaries in trades more difficult. LaVine acts as an upgrade now, and his salary is perfect to utilize in another massive trade.