The Chicago Bulls may have to wait until the summer to pull off any trade involving one of their top stars.
With the latest Zach LaVine injury update, the likelihood of seeing the 28-year-old guard change zip codes by the NBA trade deadline on February 8, was dealt a huge blow.
LaVine will reportedly miss one to two weeks after suffering an ankle injury on Thursday, January 18, in the Bulls’ 116-110 win over the Toronto Raptors per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports.
Zach LaVine is expected to miss at least a week with his sprained right ankle, per Bulls PR.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 20, 2024
The 13th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft left the game in the third quarter but returned in the fourth. Lavine tried to play it out but ended up aggravating the injury.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the 2-time All-Star underwent testing on Friday, January 19, and it was found that he suffered a sprain.
Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine is expected to miss at least one-to-two weeks with a right ankle sprain, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. LaVine underwent testing Friday suffering the injury in Thursday night’s win over Toronto and attempting to play through the sprain. pic.twitter.com/kxxSsAkfbU
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 19, 2024
Zach LaVine injury complicates trade scenarios
With this development, the chances of seeing LaVine being traded have taken a huge hit. With his health, the level of interest in the 2-time NBA Slam Dunk champion is likely to wade.
Further, the fact that he carries a $178 million contract in the next four years. Add his injury problems, it will be interesting if other NBA teams linked to the 6-foot-5 shooting guard will still give chase.
Zach LaVine’s injury history has always been a problem
Zach LaVine’s injury history is well-documented although the current one could not have come at a worse time. According to journalist Roland Lazenby, the stock of the Bulls star is a bit lower right now. However, the 72-year-old added that the former UCLA Bruin has proven in the past that he can rebound from his injuries and play well.
“A lot of the trade analysts are now saying that his stock couldn’t be lower. Perhaps someone will strike a deal. I just think he’s going to have to demonstrate some things and he can, that he’s able to return from his injuries and play well and contribute to winning. So it’s going to require some things,” the veteran scribe stated.
With LaVine out, Bulls head coach Billy Donovan will have to turn to other players such as Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu and Jevon Carter to step up their games. It is an unfortunate development for the Bulls who are at the 9th spot of the Eastern Conference standings with a 20-23 win-loss record.
Chicago is set to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, January 21, hoping to register back-to-back wins. It will be the first meeting between the two teams.
The Bulls are 7-point spread favorites to prevail over the Grizzlies per Oddssharks.com. The Moneyline set for the NBA showdown is -112 for Chicago and -110 for Memphis with the over/under at 213.5.