Could Warriors be in talks for 2x All-Star and potential Klay Thompson replacement?

Golden State Warriors v Chicago Bulls
Golden State Warriors v Chicago Bulls / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Speculation on the future of Zach LaVine is ramping up after the Chicago Bulls traded Alex Caruso on Thursday, though it's not yet clear if the Golden State Warriors are one of the teams that could be in conversations for the two-time All-Star.

There's been little external interest in LaVine dating back to before February's mid-season deadline, but the 29-year-old's waning trade value could provide an opportunity for a team that believes they can rework his supremely talented offensive skillset into a winning NBA player.

Should the Golden State Warriors trade for Zach LaVine in preparation of potentially losing Klay Thompson in free agency?

There's a chance that the Warriors could have held discussions with the Bulls on LaVine, with NBC Sports' K.C. Johnson reporting that "as many as 15 proposals" have been floated to rival teams.

"It’s why Zach LaVine’s future isn’t the only trade scenario that has been discussed, even if 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."

K.C. Johnson

If Golden State believe veteran sharpshooter Klay Thompson is set to depart in free agency, trading for LaVine could make some sense despite the obvious issues with his contract (three years, $148 million left) and recent injury history (limited to 25 games this season).

In four years between 2019-20 and 2022-23, LaVine averaged at least 24.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists. He shot at least 47.6% from the field and 38% from three-point range in three of those seasons, including back-to-back years where he was named an All-Star in 2021 and 2022.

Bleacher Report's Joseph Zucker stated on Thursday that Chicago could find a deal "if they're resigned to this being a salary dump." If that's the case the Warriors could guarantee the contracts of Chris Paul and Kevon Looney, then send them to the Bulls alongside Moses Moody. Such a deal can only happen if Golden State are under the $189.5 million second apron threshold, which would only be possible if they let Thompson walk in free agency.