After being excluded from the list of teams that would be returning in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors have started to circulate around veteran shooting guard Zach LaVine and his future with the Chicago Bulls. With their inability to reach the Eastern Conference Playoffs in the past three seasons, there is speculation that the Bulls will undergo a huge roster overhaul in the 2020 offseason and make LaVine available on the trade market. Once the Bulls start entertaining calls for LaVine, several teams are expected to express a strong interest in adding him to their roster, including the Orlando Magic.
In his recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report included the LaVine-to-Magic deal on his list of realistic offseason trades NBA fanbases won’t see coming. In the proposed scenario, the Magic would be offering a trade package that includes Mo Bamba, Terrence Ross, and a top-five protected 2020 first-round pick to the Bulls in exchange for LaVine. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
If there’s a team that could maximize LaVine’s potential, Buckley believes it’s the Magic. The Magic may currently be in the playoff race, but they obviously need help on the offensive end of the floor. The potential acquisition of LaVine wouldn’t make the Magic an instant title contender in the Eastern Conference, but Buckley thinks that adding him to their core of Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac, Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Vucevic would bring Orlando to the “next tier.”
“If the Bulls determine they’re better off without LaVine, they’ll need to find a squad so starved for scoring that it’s willing to overlook his weaknesses. The Magic kicked the tires on 30-year-old, inside-the-arc specialist DeMar DeRozan earlier this season. If anyone can lock in on LaVine’s glowing points-per-game marks (now up to 25.5), this is the team. And who knows, maybe his shooting and creation could nudge this group to the next tier. Orlando already boasts a top-10 defense, and that ranking could keep climbing as Jonathan Isaac realizes his massive potential at that end.”
LaVine would undeniably be a welcome addition to the Magic, giving them a very reliable scoring option who could potentially be their main man in the 2020-21 NBA season. The successful acquisition of a talented scorer like LaVine would tremendously boost the Magic’s offensive efficiency that currently ranks No. 22 in the league, scoring 105.6 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN. The Magic haven’t contended for a championship title in a decade, but compared to the Bulls, they are undoubtedly in a much better position. If LaVine meshes well with Fultz, Isaac, Gordon, and Vucevic, the Magic could have a realistic chance of making a huge impact in the Eastern Conference next year.