The Chicago Bulls and their All-Star guard Zach Lavine are reportedly exploring trade options, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic. Despite having four-year, $178 million remaining on his massive deal, the 28-year-old Lavine should attract plenty of interest from playoff teams trying to contend. It obviously doesn’t make too much sense for the Washington Wizards to try to acquire him but they could get involved as a third team to facilitate a trade and acquire assets in return.
One such trade could work with the Miami Heat. After failing in Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday sweepstakes this summer, Miami is still searching for a third star next to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. A potential three-team trade would look like this:
In this deal, the Miami Heat not only add Zach Lavine but also acquire Alex Caruso, a valuable, two-way guard with championship pedigree. In return, they send two first-round picks, multiple first-round pick swaps, Tyler Herro, and Kyle Lowry. They basically empty their asset drawer for Lavine and Caruso; a high-risk, high-reward move for the franchise trying to get over the championship hump.
The Bulls, on the other hand, move on from Lavine and his contract, while adding two starter-caliber players in Kyle Kuzma and Tyler Herro. They maintain a still solid but younger roster while stocking up on draft assets.
The Wizards make a simple transaction of flipping Kyle Kuzma for Kyle Lowry in exchange for a future Miami Heat first-round pick. They could choose to keep Lowry around for his leadership or buy his contract out to allow him to sign with a contender. Depending on the protections of the first-round pick, it has a possibility of being very valuable considering the aging roster of the Miami Heat.
Kyle Kuzma can’t be traded until January 15, but that still gives teams enough time before the trade deadline to pull this deal off. What the Wizards have to consider is whether they can get more for Kuzma if they hold onto him past this trade deadline. Kuzma is having an excellent season and he has easily been the best Wizard so far. Perhaps Washington will have more suitors and better offers for him in the next offseason. But selling high on him and getting an unprotected or a lightly-protected first-round pick might not be the worst idea.
Final trade grade: B