Shams Charania of The Athletic reported while appearing on The Rally that the Raptors are interested in a LaVine trade.
Toronto's interest now places them alongside multiple other teams who could strike a deal with the Bulls, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. The Philadelphia 76ers were rumored to be involved early, but it does seem that they, instead, would prefer to keep their core together.
In all likelihood, the Bulls will not receive the haul they were hoping for in return for the All-Star. LaVine's contract is an overpay, especially with Years 3 and 4 remaining on the deal at $40+ million per season and a player option for Year 5 of the contract.
LaVine's success has relied heavily on his athleticism and he's pushing 30 years old now. All of this, however, could benefit the Raptors in a trade pursuit.
NBA Rumors: Potential Raptors trade package for Zach LaVine
The Raptors have plenty of room to trade for LaVine. When it comes to matching salary, the team could offer Gary Trent Jr., Chris Boucher, Thaddeus Young, and struggling second-year player Gradey Dick. When it comes to first-round picks, the team can trade any first-rounders after 2025 and a LaVine trade would likely only require one, maybe two, unprotected picks.
Toronto is clearly pushing their chips to the middle of the table, which this deal would further as they try to compete now instead of rebuilding. Pairing LaVine with Pascal Siakam and possibly another All-Star would be advantageous for the Raptors.
Like the Jakob Poeltl trade, which was made with similar motives, trading for LaVine would put the Raptors in the mix to make a run in the playoffs. Toronto is clearly not interested in a rebuild, and this latest trade rumor is simply another indication of that.