Insider downplays Utah Jazz's interest in Zach LaVine

Following a report that the Jazz had talked with the Bulls about acquiring Zach LaVine, Marc Stein pulled the brakes on any potential trade happening between the two sides.
Utah Jazz v Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz certainly raised some eyebrows when NBC Sports Chicago's K.C. Johnson reported them as one of the teams who had discussed a potential trade for Zach LaVine with the Chicago Bulls.

"Sources said Karnišovas has floated as many as 15 proposals centered on the two-time All-Star guard to various teams, including the Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers," Johnson wrote.

It only got more bizarre when a follow-up report confirmed how "active" the Bulls were on that front and that only the Jazz and Sixers were the ones with whom they had been having discussions with. LaVine's talent is undeniable, but he is owed quite the fee for someone who has only played in five total playoff games.

Well, Jazz fans can take a breath because NBA Insider Marc Stein reported on his Substack that the Jazz's interest in LaVine is not nearly as strong as initially believed.

"League sources say Philadelphia continues to have little interest in LaVine and I have likewise been advised to dismiss Utah's reported interest."

The truth is, if he was paid adequately for his services, there would be a bigger market for LaVine, but because he's paid like he's a superstar, teams aren't interested in bringing him and his contract onto their payroll. Those teams evidently include the Jazz.

Does Zach LaVine have any appeal to the Utah Jazz?

Plenty had already been discussed about a LaVine trade from Utah's perspective. LaVine would be their best scorer and Lauri Markkanen has experience playing next to him albeit on horribly dysfunctional Bulls teams. If LaVine had any real trade value, the Bulls would have gotten rid of him by now.

Because he's overpaid, LaVine is widely considered an albatross despite putting up All-Star numbers with a clean bill of health. What also hurts his value nowadays is the fact that he is coming off a season-ending injury and the Bulls didn't fare too badly without him.

So, with all of that considered, what appeal does he have to the Jazz? Well, it depends on if the Jazz still want to hoard more assets. At this point, the Bulls may have to include some first-round assets just to get rid of LaVine. Utah has done a masterful job getting assets when they can, so who's to say they wouldn't pounce on another opportunity to get more, especially from a team who doesn't have much of a direction like the Bulls?

The odds of LaVine elevating the Jazz much further than they've gone is not high. However, getting a few additional first-round picks could pave the way for the Jazz to acquire an available superstar down the line.

In other words, LaVine's appeal to the Jazz would stem from how he could help them add a game-changer. Even if he himself isn't much of one himself.