According to a recently proposed trade idea, the Toronto Raptors could upgrade their backcourt by acquiring Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine for a package centered on reserve Norman Powell and several future draft selections.
As explained on Monday by NBA Analysis Network, LaVine has come a long way since he was drafted in the first round by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2014. After arriving in Chicago in 2017, the former UCLA star took over as the team’s top scorer, arguably serving as the organization’s “only bright spot” amid a stretch that has seen the Bulls win only 71 games in the three-plus seasons since then.
According to the publication, the Raptors could give LaVine a chance to play for a playoff-caliber franchise by acquiring him for Powell, his fellow backup guard Matt Thomas, one first-round pick each in the 2021 and 2024 drafts, a 2025 second-round selection, and a 2026 second-rounder. This offer, as hinted, would be “a lot” for Toronto, but would likely be enough to convince the Bulls to part ways with their No. 1 offensive threat.
Currently, the Raptors are led by two young stars in Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet and veteran playmaker Kyle Lowry, though as the site pointed out, these three players aren’t enough to help the club compete against other Eastern Conference contenders such as the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, and Philadelphia 76ers. LaVine could potentially step up as another “high-level talent” who could put points on the board and help the Raptors address their perceived “lack of scoring talent.”
Aside from his skills as a scorer and three-point shooter, LaVine could also help the Raptors in a few other ways, the outlet noted.
“Adding Zach LaVine to the Raptors would actually be a great fit and for a couple of reasons. Not only is LaVine a solid defensive player, but this team is lacking a [go-to] playmaker on the wing. “
Talking about how the Bulls could benefit from the hypothetical deal, NBA Analysis Network speculated that LaVine is likely “frustrated” over the team’s consistent inability to qualify for the postseason. Moving him before the March deadline, as hinted, could help him preserve his value as a trade asset.
Although Powell is currently coming off the bench for the Raptors, he was described as someone who could “fit in perfectly” in Chicago with his athleticism, outside shooting, and potential to become a top sixth man going forward. Thomas, meanwhile, was mentioned as a top three-point threat who could thrive if given additional playing time — in the 2019-20 season, he converted on 47.5 percent of his three-point attempts but saw action in just 41 games for the Raptors.