The Bulls Reported Asking Price For Zach LaVine From Detroit Was Quite High

As we cross the midway point of the NBA season, we have a pretty good idea of which teams will factor into the playoff and Play-In races in each conference and which won’t. In the East, the bottom three teams are on pace for some historical losing, as the Pistons, Hornets, and Wizards are a combined 22-107, with all three on pace to finish with fewer than 20 wins on the season. If that happens, it’d be the first time that three teams in the same conference came up shy of the 20-win mark in a non-lockout year since 1997-98 when four teams in the West finished with 19 or fewer wins.

However, they are taking very different approaches to their struggles as the trade deadline approaches. Charlotte and Washington appear to be embracing that they are starting to rebuild, with the Wizards tearing it down this summer (although, hoping to get more out of their return than they have) and the Hornets in the midst of a fire sale of their own. In Detroit, where they’ve been losing a lot for a number of years, there seems to be a scramble to try and make a splashy move to turn things around quickly. They’ve been linked to Pascal Siakam, Dejounte Murray, and just about every other big name that’s been on the trade market, with Zach LaVine as the latest star to be attached to Detroit’s interest.

According to The Athletic’s James Edwards III, talks between the two teams never got particularly far because the Bulls continue to ask for a high price for LaVine, with the ask of the Pistons being Bojan Bogdanovic and one of Detroit’s four top young players (headlined by Cade Cunningham).

Similarly, the Chicago Bulls and Pistons have had conversations involving Zach LaVine, league sources say. Chicago appears to be locked in on a package involving Bojan Bogdanović and one of Detroit’s blue-chippers for LaVine and his hefty contract. Once again, the Pistons have shown no interest in parting with any of Cunningham, Ivey, Duren or Thompson. It is possible Detroit considers adding LaVine when/if the Bulls’ asking price goes down. However, those are discussions that have been happening and will continue to happen internally.

I do appreciate the attempt from Chicago to swipe Cade Cunningham, just in case Detroit was asleep at the wheel briefly and said yes. Ivey feels like the most likely of the youngsters to get moved in a LaVine trade just considering the Pistons rotational needs with LaVine would include Cunningham at point, Ausar Thompson for defense, and Jalen Duren in the paint. Given Edwards notes later that Detroit is asking for a “good” first round pick and a “good” player in exchange for Bogdanovic for the second straight year, it’s safe to say there’s a sizable gap between the Bulls and Pistons in any discussions involving those two players. Over the next two weeks something rather significant will need to change on at least one, if not both sides, to send LaVine on a four hour drive east.