5. Zach LaVine
The Bulls are at a crossroads. They missed the playoffs last season and have not won a postseason series since 2015. Chicago re-signed Nikola Vucevic and added a few role players, but was it enough to get the Bulls back into the postseason? Lonzo Ball has already been ruled out for the season, and LaVine keeps popping up in trade rumors. Do they bank on improvement or finally blow it up?
The Bulls’ start to the season will determine their fate. DeMar DeRozan is in the final year of his contract, and Patrick Williams is a restricted free agent next summer. Their roster is only getting more expensive and paying that price only makes sense if Chicago is a contender.
The Bulls have set a high asking price for LaVine, but can Chicago get anywhere near it? The 6’5 wing has $129.1 million remaining on his deal over the next three years plus a $48.9 million player option in 2026-27. The two-time All-Star is in the middle of his prime, but that is a hefty price to pay for someone with just four games of playoff experience in his career.
The Philadelphia 76ers could look to acquire another elite scorer to keep Joel Embiid happy. If the Chicago Bulls enter a rebuild, Zach LaVine could be out the door to the highest bidder. The Sixers won’t break the bank to acquire him, but he would certainly improve their talent and athletic ability.