The disgruntled star the Clippers must avoid trading for this offseason

The Los Angeles Clippers need to steer clear of the once budding superstar.  
Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Clippers
Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Clippers / Allen Berezovsky/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Clippers are obsessed with star power. In a city filled with the most famous people in the world, it's definitely on brand. 

The club had something with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as the nucleus, but Steve Balmer is obsessed with winning. It's unfair to imagine the Canadian guard becoming a viable MVP candidate, but the talent was clearly there. It's hard to fault the franchise for trying to speed up their rebuild and pair together Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but they overplayed their hand. 

With most of its future assets dried up and zero success to show for it, the organization is at a crossroads. They need to inject this roster with fresh talent but have limited avenues to explore. Extending Kawhi Leonard in January closed the door on any chance of a total teardown. The most logical step now would be to dangle George in a sign-and-trade. 

The NBA offseason sees a flurry of disgruntled veterans eyeing a move, each searching for a better destination. The union between Darius Garland and the Cleveland Cavaliers is on the rocks, and the young guard will be on the trade market. Julius Randle, Donovan Mitchell, Dejounte Murray, Trae Young, and Brandon Ingram have all been hot names, seemingly available. One player who has been searching for a new home for a while is Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine. 

The Los Angles Clippers should not pursue Zach LaVine

It's almost shocking that the Bulls have failed to move the two-time All-Star. The 10th-year man from UCLA has tried to force his way out for nearly two years after it became apparent that the trio of him, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic had no chance of contending for a championship. 

For a time, it looked like LaVine was one of the best volume scorers in the sport. His sweet stroke, paired with his hyper-athleticism, helped him become a feared three-level threat. Coupled with high-end efficiency, he looked like a cross between Baron Davis and Stephon Marbury. 

After a cavalcade of injuries, his athletic ability is starting to regress. His shooting plummeted, and he shot just 35% from deep during his limited 2023–24 campaign. His defense is back to being among the worst in the game and offers little upside on that end of the floor. The playmaking has never been there, which makes his whole game fairly one-dimensional. 

All evidence suggests his best days are likely behind him. His lack of team success while stuffing the stat sheet confirms a narrative that has followed LaVine since he entered the league: he's a losing player. The Clippers need to pursue younger assets and not try to revive someone's career on the doorstep of age 30.