Social media interactions between Zach Lavine and Dejounte Murray this past week will leave Bulls fans excited and hopeful.
The Chicago Bulls are looking to add a point guard this offseason to pair with All-Star Zach Lavine for the 2021-22 season. Among notable candidates could be Spurs guard Dejounte Murray, and it appears both Seattle, Washington natives have already hinted at the idea of playing with one another.
Lavine is currently taking part in Team USA Basketball for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. He poured in 15 points in Team USA’s 108-80 victory over Argentina on Tuesday, including some highlight-reel dunks that quickly made their way around social media. Murray took notice of Lavine’s “Body Bag” slam on his Instagram story, which Lavine later reposted on his own account.
It’s not the first time the two have acknowledged the current states of one another. Amid reports of Murray and his Spurs teammate Derrick White becoming “available” this offseason, Murray sent out a cryptic tweet on Sunday.
Zach LaVine seems to endorse the Bulls adding Dejounte Murray
A fan reply to the tweet showed a photoshopped picture of Murray in a Bulls jersey, which Lavine approved.
The playmaking abilities of Murray at the point guard position is something the Bulls has sorely lacked during Lavine’s tenure in Chicago which began during the 2017-18 season. In 67 games this season, Murray averaged career highs with 15.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.4 assists.
Having acquired All-Star center Nikola Vucevic at the trade deadline this season, the Bulls appear to be on the brink of building a team around those two players in hopes of improving their contending odds sooner rather than later.
Dejounte Murray would improve a backcourt with Zach Lavine, but it may prove too costly for the Bulls
Adding a player like Murray would certainly help, but it wouldn’t be cheap. Murray is still just 24-years old and under team control through the 2023-24 season while averaging roughly $16 million per year in that span.
San Antonio would most likely look for some draft capital in return, and the Bulls have already parted ways with their 2021 and 2023 (top-4 protected) first-round picks in the Vucevic deal with the Magic.
It’d more than likely mean the Bulls putting one or both of their 2022 and 2024 first-round picks on the table. Their best young assets on the moment are also Coby White and a sign-and-trade of Lauri Markkanen.
Even if the Bulls are willing to give some of all of that up, there are other teams with higher draft capital and better NBA talent who could better appeal to the Spurs.
Still, given how close both Lavine and Murray appear to be, one would think Lavine would communicate to Bulls executive Arturas Karnisovas and the front office just how bad the team needs Murray and his talents.
Whether or not they have enough to offer remains to be seen.