The Brooklyn Nets are currently in the middle of the jam-packed Eastern Conference standings. Their route to postseason basketball, either the play-in tournament or the playoffs, just got a little easier, as one of the teams competing against Brooklyn for a spot is contemplating blowing up their entire roster.
The Chicago Bulls are ready to blow it up; trade Zach LaVine
Since the invention of the NBA Play-In Tournament, 10 of the NBA’s 15 teams in each conference advance out of the regular season. Eight teams in each conference make the playoffs. The Chicago Bulls are among the 10 most talented teams in the Eastern Conference, but if they trade LaVine and or DeMar DeRozan, they will no longer be among the 10 most talented.
One of the most realistic destinations for LaVine, who is still owed $178 million, is the Los Angeles Lakers. After all, on ESPN’s First Take a couple of years ago, LaVine said he would love to play with LeBron James and a dominant big man. The Lakers certainly check both those boxes.
Anytime an All-Star caliber player is shipped from the Eastern Conference to the Western Conference, it is a massive victory for Brooklyn.
Should the Nets go after Lavine? If they do, this trade framework would work.
Where do the Nets stand in the Eastern Conference?
Right now, the Nets are better than the Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards, and Toronto Raptors. When fully healthy, which is a big caveat, You could argue Brooklyn also has a better roster than the Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, and the Chicago Bulls.
That is eight teams; the Nets could finish the season with a better record. That should put them in the playoffs and, at worst, the Play-In Tournament.
Brooklyn is slowly getting healthy and has a favorable schedule through the New Year. They could certainly start stacking wins.