The Los Angeles Lakers are interested in trading for Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, according to sources. However, it is unknown whether or not Lakers G.M. Rob Pelinka will negotiate a deal for the two-time All-Star prior to the Feb. 9 trade deadline.
Of course, LaVine could be one of the team’s offseason targets. “The name that’s become more interesting to me as this season has gone on and it’s become clearer and clearer that the Bulls are not going to get it together is LaVine,” said ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Lakers have 10th-best odds to win the championship. A few sportsbooks are giving the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies greater odds.
The Bulls would accept Russell Westbrook, the 2027 and 2029 FRP from the Lakers for Zach LaVine, according to Zach Lowe and Bobby Marks. pic.twitter.com/mHjza5fMB2
— Major Sports Alerts (@sports___alerts) January 26, 2023
“I know there has been some thought about with people around the Lakers as a potential trade slash ‘that’s kind of our cap space acquisition,’” Lowe said of LaVine.
In July, the UCLA product signed a five-year, $215.16 million contract extension with the Bulls. LaVine ‘s deal includes a 15% trade bonus and a $48,967,380 player option for the 2026-27 season.
Lakers could pursue Bulls guard Zach LaVine before the Feb. 9 trade deadline or this offseason
If the Lakers pursue LaVine over the next couple of weeks, their trade package will probably not be ideal to impress the Bulls. Los Angeles has only two first-round draft picks (2027, 2029) for the rest of the decade. It would be absurd for Pelinka to surrender both first-rounders and a superstar for LaVine.
Last week, the Lakers traded Kendrick Nunn, a 2023 second-round draft pick, a 2028 second-rounder, and a 2029 second-rounder to the Washington Wizards for Rui Hachimura.
For Chicago to give up LaVine, the front office would demand either Russell Westbrook or Anthony Davis in return. The Lakers won the 2020 NBA Finals on the backs of Davis and LeBron James. Though, the four-time All-NBA member has struggled to stay healthy these past three years.
Zach Lowe’s trade idea during the most recent episode of his podcast
⁃ Zach Lavine
⁃ Russell Westbrook
⁃ two 1st round draft picks (“one unprotected and the second one has the most limited possible protections that’s allowable under NBA rules”)
— The Lakers Review (@TheLakersReview) January 25, 2023
Beyond the halfway mark this season, Davis has made only 26 appearances. The 11-year veteran is dealing with a fractured bone spur and a right foot stress reaction. Davis played just 40 games last season as well. Lakers coach Darvin Ham is having Westbrook come off the bench this season, and at least Westbrook is consistently healthy.
The same cannot be said about Davis. While the Lakers center is a more dominant rebounder than LaVine, the Bulls guard is a better outside shooter. Through 44 starts this season, LaVine is averaging 23.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.0 steal per game. Plus, he’s shooting 45.8% from the field and 37.3% outside the arc.