The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly show interest in acquiring Chicago Bulls superstar Zach LaVine. A trade for LaVine could potentially form a formidable trio with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. This move, however, could require the Lakers to part with some of their promising young talents.
NBA insiders suggest that the Lakers are considering a prudent approach in pursuing a third star. The team’s management, led by Rob Pelinka, is known for its diligent decision-making, as seen in its previous trade strategies. Last season, instead of making hasty changes, they successfully assembled a team reminiscent of their 2020 championship roster, filled with high-level rotation players. This resulted in them reaching the conference finals, where they lost to last year’s champions, the Denver Nuggets.
Shams Charania, the co-host of Run It Back on FanDuel TV, had this to say about the Los Angeles Lakers pursuing Zach LaVine:
I think the Lakers will be patient. I expect them to express interest in Zach LaVine, but he's making almost 40 million dollars. Guys like D'Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura they are non-tradeable till like mid-January.The Bulls, I'm sure, would covet Austin Reaves... and to this point the Lakers have not been inclined to move Austin Reaves. Jared Vanderbilt, Gabe Vincent are two guys that are supposed to be massive for them in the rotation. They haven't played much at all this year.
The financial aspect of acquiring LaVine, who is currently on a nearly $40 million contract, poses a significant challenge. Players like D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura, crucial for matching salaries in a potential trade, are not tradeable until mid-January. This timing constraint adds complexity to the Lakers’ trade plans.
Moreover, Charania indicated that the Chicago Bulls have shown interest in Austin Reaves, the young star of the Lakers. Reaves’ impressive performance and potential make him a valuable asset, one the Lakers have been reluctant to trade, even in their pursuit of Kyrie Irving.
A look at Zach LaVine this season
Zach LaVine has established himself as a premier player in the NBA. Averaging 23.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.0 assists over his last five appearances, LaVine’s athleticism and scoring ability make him a coveted player for any team. His potential addition to the Lakers would significantly bolster their offensive capabilities.
With both their stars playing high, the Lakers are under pressure to maximize their championship window, which might involve making a significant move like acquiring LaVine. He could take some load off of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. At age 38, LeBron should play around 28 minutes to preserve his health. However, the Lakers’ underperformance in some games led LeBron to play for over 30 minutes. Thus, the addition of LaVine could become helpful.
As the trade deadline approaches, the Lakers face the challenge of balancing the pursuit of a third star with preserving their promising young roster. The decision will have far-reaching implications for the team’s immediate and long-term future.