‘Blockbuster’ Trade Proposal Sends Zach LaVine To Nets, Ben Simmons To Bulls

One NBA writer proposed that the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets make a trade with each other this summer. 

NBA, Nets, Bulls, Zach LaVine, Ben Simmons
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report proposed the following trade idea between the Bulls and Nets:

The Chicago Bulls acquire Ben Simmons, a 2027 first-round pick (via PHI; top-8 protected) and a 2027 first-round pick (via PHX; lottery protected) from the Brooklyn Nets for Zach LaVine

According to NBA insider K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, trading LaVine is the Bulls‘ offseason focus.

Chicago attempted to trade LaVine this season, but no teams were seriously interested in acquiring the UCLA product.

LaVine played in just 25 games this season. He underwent season-ending right foot surgery in February.

A two-time All-Star, LaVine averaged 19.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.3 blocks for the Bulls in 2023-24 while shooting 45.2% from the field, 34.9% from beyond the arc and 85.4% from the free-throw line.

LaVine signed a five-year, $215 million contract with the Bulls in July 2022. He’ll make $43 million next season and $45 million in 2025-26.

LaVine is represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group. 

Simmons signed a five-year, $177 million extension with the Philadelphia 76ers in July 2019. He’s only played in 172 games with the Sixers and Nets since signing that deal.

The Nets acquired Simmons from the Sixers in the James Harden trade in February 2022. Simmons has played in just 57 games with Brooklyn. 

Simmons appeared in only 15 games this season. He averaged 6.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks while shooting 58.1% from the field and 40.0% from the free-throw line. 

“The Nets gave control of their first-round picks to the Houston Rockets through 2027 in the James Harden trade, which means bottoming out won’t pay off for them like it would for other teams,” Hughes wrote. “That makes Brooklyn a reasonable landing spot for LaVine who, if healthy after a season almost totally lost to an ankle injury, could provide high-level scoring to a team that needs it. At the very least, he’ll be more helpful than Simmons, who’s played 57 games across the last three seasons and currently owns perhaps the worst dollar-to-production ratio in the league.

“Chicago can onboard his expiring $40.3 million contract with a couple of protected picks attached and bask in its newfound optionality. This assumes the Bulls will also deal away Nikola Vučević, Alex Caruso and anything else that isn’t bolted down or named Coby White.

“Brooklyn could even flip LaVine next year or the one after to recoup the picks it spent to dump Simmons, and everyone leaves the exchange satisfied.”

LaVine has career averages of 20.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.3 blocks with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Bulls. Chicago has won just one playoff game since acquiring LaVine from Minnesota in 2017. 

Simmons, who was once a star in the NBA before injuries and his lack of a jump shot caught up to him, has career averages of 14.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.7 blocks with the Sixers and Nets. He’ll make $40.3 million in 2024-25. 

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