The Los Angeles Lakers have been in the news recently about potential trading for star players. The most recent being the possibility of them trading for the Chicago Bulls superstar Zach LaVine. However, the Lakers are reluctant to trade away their core young players whom the Bulls want. Such as Austin Reaves. Reaves was not included in trade discussions even when they were talking about Kyrie Irving.
Jovan Buha is a journalist who covers the Los Angeles Lakers for The Athletic. Speaking to Jason Timp on Hoops Tonight, Jovan says that the Lakers are more interested in trading for DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso rather than Lavine. As per Buha, the Lakers are still bothered about not being able to resign Alex Caruso back in the 2021 offseason.
Trading for Zach LaVine will be a contractual nightmare for the Los Angeles Lakers, given his $40 million contract this season. It gets worse with $89 million for the next two seasons and a player option in 2026-27. ComAparatively, DeMar DeRozan is on an expiring contract and Alex Caruso earns $9.5 million a year.
The on-court situation will also play into this arrangement. Zach LaVine is known as an elite shooter, but his deficiencies in defense and playmaking are not what the Lakers need. DeRozan on the other hand can take care of the offense single-handedly. Whereas Caruso provides elite defense and playmaking, which was instrumental in the Lakers 2020 championship run.
How will this duo help the Lakers?
DeMar DeRozan is an elite shotmaker. His ability to take on the offensive load is just what the Lakers need at the moment with their 6th worst offense. The 6-time All-Star will help take the load off LeBron James as well who needs to remain fresh for the playoffs. DeRozan is averaging 21.3 points 3.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists this season.
Alex Caruso on the other is known for his playmaking and elite defense. The Lakers know very well about his capabilities. Caruso is averaging 9.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists this season. But his clutch defense does not show up on the stats sheet. Explaining further is Jovan Buha;
Here are @jovanbuha’s thoughts on the potential for a Bulls/Lakers deal before the deadline, and who the Lakers would most likely target.
— Jason Timpf (@_JasonLT) November 29, 2023
The Lakers also know that they might not have to give up their core young players such as Austin Reaves in the deal with DeRozan and Caruso. Plus the players fit them better. The only issue standing in the way of the Lakers is that D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura cannot be traded until mid-January.