The Washington Wizards are now sitting with a 2-10 record, making them the second-worst team in the NBA. But not much was expected from them, considering they are in a rebuilding process.
But are they rebuilding with the right pieces?
After a breakout season with the Golden State Warriors last year and playing a huge role in their 2022 championship, most thought Jordan Poole would be motivated to grab the bull by the horns. He hasn’t done that so far.
Such factors have fans in D.C. checking out trade rumors and seeing what players are interested in abandoning their respective teams. One player who has constantly been thrown in the mix is Chicago Bulls’ star Zach LaVine.
Sure, the idea is far-fetched but it’s possible.
Zach Lavine and the Chicago Bulls aren’t long for one another
Right now, the Bulls are dealing with their own struggles. They currently have a 5-9 record and can’t seem to get a winning streak going. In fact, they already had two three-game losing streaks so far this season. It’s also worth taking into consideration the personal vendettas within the organization. Last year, there were rumors circling around about the lack of chemistry between LaVine and co-star DeMar DeRozan. To make matters worse, after a Saturday night comeback victory against the Miami Heat, a video went viral showing an upset LaVine storming off the court instead of meeting with reporters per usual.
It’s safe to say LaVine isn’t happy with the Bulls’ current situation.
If the Wizards entertain the thought of acquiring the two-time All-Star, they might want to take some factors into consideration.
First, they will need to figure out who they would give up. Because the team would rather keep their two best offensive players Kyle Kuzma and Deni Avdija. In that case, they might have to let Poole go, who is currently tied to a four-year, $128 million contract.
Next, the Wizards need to balance out some pros and cons.
Lavine’s defensive shortcomings make him a poor fit for the Wizards
For the majority of his career, LaVine has been known as an elite offensive force. He can score in many ways, including catch-and-shoot and self-created shots. He averages 20.5 points for his career and hasn’t averaged under 20 since the 2017-18 season. At the age of 28, he has established that he can still score with the best of them. In just his third game this season, he turned in a career-high 51 points against the Detroit Pistons but, unsurprisingly it resulted in a loss.
Even though LaVine has a history of injuries, he has never suffered one that seemed to impede his career, pointing to his willingness to take care of his body. This could be extremely helpful, considering his preference to take over in the half-court and create transition plays. His athleticism is never a question mark and he has the two Slam Dunk Contest championships to prove it.
These particulars could be useful for the Wizards, who are one of the worst offensive teams in the league.
There are, however, also a couple of negatives.
One is the obvious, his age. Being that LaVine is 28 and already in his 10th season, it’s not what the Wizards are looking for. The Wizards would likely prioritize acquiring players who fit their rebuilding timeline.
Another issue is his lack of defense. He has gotten slightly better in that department as he averages one steal this season but it’s still a cause for concern. Out of all the things, this is the one issue that could draw the Wizards away from him, taking into account that they are a poor defensive team that allows their opponents to score 122.9 points per night.
The conception of trading for an offensive star player in LaVine is appealing, but it might not be what the Wizards need at this moment.