With a 3-2 win-loss record to start the 2020-21 season, the Brooklyn Nets have gotten some great performances from their superstar duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. While they also have a good bench, with Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen both playing solidly, a recent article suggested that Brooklyn could acquire a third top-tier player by trading for Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine.
As explained on Thursday by NBA Analysis Network, the hypothetical deal would involve LeVert, Allen, backup small forward Taurean Prince, and a 2021 first-round pick moving to the Bulls in exchange for LaVine and veteran forward Thaddeus Young. This transaction, as noted, could improve the Nets’ chances of winning a championship after an injury-marred 2019-20 season where Irving and Durant both dealt with serious injuries.
Although he has yet to play in an All-Star Game, LaVine could potentially step up as the missing piece the club needs in order to win it all in the 2021 Finals, the outlet added.
“LaVine is coming off a season where he averaged a career-high 25.5 points per game. He has taken his offensive game to the next level. Throughout his career, LaVine has played with other stars which means he knows how to co-exist within a team and not dominate the ball.”
While he was seemingly included in the theoretical trade for salary-matching purposes, Young was described as another player who could help the Nets in their quest to win a title, albeit in an off-the-bench role. He also saw some action for Brooklyn earlier in his career, averaging 14.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per contest and shooting 50.9 percent from the field in his one-and-a-half-season stint with the team that ended after the 2015-16 campaign, per Basketball-Reference.
As for the Bulls, NBA Analysis Network wrote that they are a rebuilding team that has some talented youngsters in place, including big man Lauri Markkanen, guard Coby White, and rookie forward Patrick Williams. However, the publication stressed that the rebuilding club still needs to build a “complete” lineup, which is where the trade idea comes into play.
As Markkanen is widely seen as a “stretch four” who mostly operates from outside, Allen is a more traditional center who could contribute with his inside scoring and defense. LeVert, meanwhile, stepped up on offense when Irving was hurt in 2019-20, which might make him the “biggest return” for Brooklyn. Lastly, Prince’s potential contributions were not mentioned, but he was a starter in the last three seasons before shifting to an off-the-bench role in 2020-21, as shown on his Basketball-Reference page.