Bulls' 'frustrated' Zach LaVine dodges trade talk

Wilbon: The Bulls need to start over (1:55)

Michael Wilbon believes the Bulls need to start over and move DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine in trades. (1:55)

CHICAGO -- Bulls guard Zach LaVine admitted to being frustrated by Chicago's 4-7 start to the 2023-24 season but dodged a question about whether he wants to be traded elsewhere.

"Right now is not the time to really talk about that," LaVine said after shootaround Wednesday morning. "Play the Orlando Magic tonight, try and get a win. If something comes out later on, that will be the time I talk about it.''

The Bulls entered the season with postseason expectations after bringing back nearly their entire roster from last year, but they have struggled out of the gate both offensively, where they rank 21st in the NBA in offensive efficiency per NBA.com, and defensively, where they rank 22nd.

Chicago is in its third season with a roster built around the core of LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic, which produced a first-round exit in 2022, lost in the play-in tournament last season and now has started slow this season.

"I'm frustrated we're not winning," LaVine said Wednesday. "I think if you're not frustrated, that's a problem. It's an upsetting thing when we've been trying to do the right thing for the last three or four years. It seems like we're in the same place. We're trying to get over that hump."

LaVine has been the subject of trade rumors throughout his NBA career, including this past summer when ESPN reported rival teams checked in with the Bulls about his availability. However, LaVine has normally responded by shooting down such speculation, including during training camp when he told ESPN "my camp isn't putting them out. I committed to the Bulls when I signed my five-year deal."

He took a different tact Wednesday morning.

"That's why I have representatives like Rich Paul," LaVine said referring to his agent. "If he speaks on my behalf, that's my agent. That's who I obviously have my camp with. They talk to Arturas [Karnisovas] and them. My job is to go out here and play. Simple as that."

LaVine is currently in his seventh season with Chicago after being acquired on draft night in 2017 in the trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. After recovering from an ACL injury that summer, LaVine transformed into a two-time All-Star in Chicago, averaging 24.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists on 47% shooting during his career with the Bulls.

He has also gotten off to a slow start this season, averaging 21.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists on 41% shooting through the first 11 games.

But the Bulls will need to lean on LaVine for Wednesday's game against the Magic. Chicago will be without DeRozan (personal reasons), and guard Alex Caruso (toe) is listed as questionable.

"As long as I put that Chicago Bulls jersey on, I'm going out there to win and play my heart out," LaVine said.

"I don't take anything for granted, my time here has been nothing but wonderful. I've grown up here. I've raised a family here. Had some great memories. Hopefully, people understand that, how much I care about Chicago. ... If you're in a winning situation, a lot of rumors and trade things don't come up. Obviously, we want to get a win tonight and get things back on track."