Thus far, NBA All-Star weekend has been owned by Zach LaVine. On Friday night, LaVine played in the Rising Stars Challenge and was named MVP after finishing with 30 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Then, on Saturday night, he and Aaron Gordon put on one of the greatest dunk contests of all-time, with LaVine edging out the victory to become the first back-to-back Slam Dunk champion since Nate Robinson.
Barring some major surprise performance, no matter what happens in tonight's game is going to change who the MVP of the weekend was - Zach LaVine - and that begs the question: is he available? Two weeks ago, in an NBA trade deadline preview, I discussed the possibility of the Celtics trading for Zach LaVine:
Who: Zach LaVine. The 20-year-old is currently averaging 12.7 PPG, 3.1 APG and 3.0 RPG. He is shooting 44% from the field and 34% from three. He is in the second year of his rookie deal and is blocked in Minnesota by PG Ricky Rubio, who is under contract through the 2018-2019 season. The Celtics could use his athleticism on the roster, as they haven’t had someone who could jump out of the building since Gerald Green. LaVine continues to improve, which is shocking considering who is currently coaching him. The thought of he and Brad Stevens coming together is fun to think about.
Why: The Timberwolves have so much young talent. Not only do they have Wiggins and Towns, but they are going to receive a top five pick this year as well. At what point does the youth movement end? 19-year old kids cannot win on their own in the NBA. If Minnesota wants to make the playoffs any time soon, they need to add some players with experience. Why not start with LaVine, who struggles defensively and is blocked at most positions he would thrive at? In addition to Rubio being on the roster, they just drafted Tyus Jones out of Duke.
How: Zach LaVine for Jared Sullinger and the Celtics 2016 first-round pick. The Timberwolves could use a PF of the future and another asset to package this summer in a potential deal for a more experienced player.
Does someone's performance during All-Star weekend factor into their trade value? It's an interesting question. You would think not, but after the performance LaVine put on this weekend and all the hype surrounding it, who knows. If the Timberwolves were smart, they would put out some trade feelers to see if there is a team out there willing to overpay for him as a result of what he did this weekend.
What do you think? Sullinger and a first-round pick for Zach LaVine? Make the call, Danny.
Photo Credit: Mark Blinch of Associated Press
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