Zach LaVine, a notable name on the trade market, won't be playing anywhere for the rest of the season.
The Chicago Bulls guard will undergo season-ending surgery on his right foot, the team announced Saturday. His timetable to return was presented as four to six months, which would keep him out until at least June.
LaVine will reportedly undergo the surgery next week, with the decision to do so made jointly by him, the Bulls training and medical staff and his agents at Klutch Sports Group.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 3, 2024
The development takes one of the most notable names off the board ahead of the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline. LaVine had already been ruled out with his foot issue until after the deadline, but was expected to make a return for whichever team acquired him soon after in the event of a trade.
There were a few teams linked to LaVine, who has played the past seven seasons in Chicago and is in the second season of a five-year, $215 million max deal he signed in the summer of 2022. The Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons have all been mentioned as potential suitors over the course of the season, though nothing firm had seemingly developed as far as real negotiations.
LaVine is a two-time All-Star with the Bulls and is 28 years old. He's already missed 24 games this season with foot, shoulder and ankle issues, and has taken a step back in his numbers when on the court, with decreases from last season in his points per game, true shooting percentage, assist rate and overall efficiency numbers.
At 23-26, the Bulls sit ninth in the Eastern Conference and hold a spot in the play-in tournament, but there's little reason to think of the team as a potential contender, both now and in the near future. A LaVine trade would have cleared the team's biggest contract off the books, but now they'll have carry him into the offseason and figure it out from there.