It’s not the type of power guard Zach LaVine is looking to grab, but if the Bulls’ front office wants to summon him to discuss trade possibilities — what he likes and doesn’t like — he wouldn’t turn it down.
But is LaVine requiring the Bulls to do so? He isn’t that egotistical.
‘‘I mean, if they come to me and let me know, I think it would be great,’’ LaVine said when he was asked if he would like that type of relationship with the front office. ‘‘If not, I’m not taking offense to it, either. It’s not something that I’m asking for.
‘‘I know what I stand for. I’m trying to help us get there, and I don’t think you can question what my intentions are.’’
No one has, especially now that LaVine finally has taken on the responsibility of being a two-way player. His offense is still way ahead of his defense, but he seems to be making an effort to play on both ends of the floor.
But adding general-manager duties to LaVine’s responsibilities right now might be a bit too much, even for a player who has emerged as the face of the franchise. Yes, Otto Porter Jr. and Thaddeus Young were elected team captains and Lauri Markkanen was expected to join LaVine as a foundation piece for the Bulls’ rebuild, but it’s pretty obvious whose team this is.
And considering LaVine’s contract is guaranteed through the 2021-22 season, why not at least get his opinion about the best pieces to surround him with? After all, the trade deadline Feb. 6 is approaching quickly.
One major problem the front office has is that it has little financial wiggle room to try to make LaVine happy. One reason is Porter’s $27.2 million salary this season and his $28.4 million player option next season — an option he undoubtedly will exercise.
The Bulls would love to trade Porter, whom they acquired in a deal with the Wizards at the deadline last season, but good luck finding a team to take that contract.
As it stands right now, the injured Porter is in line to collect just less than $60 million from the Bulls when it’s all said and done. To this point, he has played in 24 games for them and has contributed to 10 victories.
Another player the Bulls would love to trade is 2016 first-round draft pick Denzel Valentine, who is buried in coach Jim Boylen’s doghouse. The problem is, they wouldn’t be able to get much in return for Valentine, so he would have to be part of a package.
Markkanen looks like a player who needs a change of scenery, but the Bulls would be too paranoid to give up on his talent. That leaves Young and Kris Dunn, and that’s about it.
Sources have indicated the Clippers have interest in both players, but they could go after Young in a trade and wait for Dunn to become a restricted free agent this summer.
Either way, the Bulls don’t have a lot of chips to trade, with or without LaVine’s approval.