NBA Rumors: LaVine suitor out, AD calls out Lakers, Anthony Edwards to NFL?

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  • Heat bow out of Zach LaVine trade pursuit

Zach LaVine, Kyle Lowry
Zach LaVine, Kyle Lowry / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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NBA Rumors: Heat not interested in trade for Bulls' Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine has become something of a public malcontent with the Chicago Bulls, who continue to plummet in the NBA standings. At 5-11, Chicago is about ready to punt on its season and, finally, its core. The future of DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic appears a bit more uncertain, but it's clear LaVine is available for trade.

According to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic, the Bulls are expected to wait until Dec. 15 — when contracts signed in the offseason become movable — to deal LaVine. Patience is key for any general manager and fanbase in these situations. The Bulls want to squeeze maximum value out of LaVine, and it's not like keeping him on the roster is damaging their lottery odds at the moment.

LaVine is expected to have suitors, and he should. Even at the beginning of a "down" season, LaVine is averaging 21.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.3 assists on .431/.339/.872 splits. He's in a minor funk, perhaps due to his very obvious unhappiness, but LaVine can score the ball efficiently from all three levels and he's a talented secondary creator. A number of contenders would get better with him on the roster.

One team not expected to engage in LaVine talks, however, is the Miami Heat, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

"But a person in close contact with the Heat front office said Miami has not been pursuing a trade for him, at least as of now. (I would be surprised if that changes.) And that’s a sensible decision, because of several reasons including future flexibility, finances and duplication with Tyler Herro’s skill set. (The Heat isn’t interested in trading Herro for LaVine."

It's hard to argue with Miami's thinking here. That's the tricky part for Chicago in general — LaVine profiles as a worse version of ideal trade targets for a lot of teams. Why trade for LaVine now when Donovan Mitchell might become available in the summer? Why trade for LaVine when a young guard like Tyler Herro for the Heat, or Tyrese Maxey for the Philadelphia 76ers is tearing it up in a comparable role?

Chicago will have to find a team in need of perimeter offense that is willing to stomach the remaining four years and $178 million on LaVine's contract. He's due to make just south of $49 million in 2026-27, his age-31 season. He's not old by NBA standards, but LaVine is heavily reliant on athleticism and injuries have been a real concern after multiple knee problems.

The public consensus on LaVine has swung way too far negative — he's absolutely better than Tyler Herro in a vacuum — but it's hard to get excited about that contract, especially given the Bulls' complete inability to mount a winner centered on LaVine.

The Heat have the pieces to get in the mix for LaVine after missing out on Damian Lillard, but he's clearly not a player Pat Riley is interested in.

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