Could Lakers Be Landing Spot For Bulls Star Zach LaVine?

Zach LaVine, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Zach LaVine is the most exciting unrestricted free agent in the NBA this offseason. Coming off consecutive All-Star seasons, LaVine is a high-flying athlete with elite outside shooting on high volume. The Chicago Bulls recently built a playoff team around the young star, but LaVine has expressed that he’ll test the market in free agency.

As teams prepare to throw their hat in the ring for LaVine, could the Los Angeles Lakers be one of them?

The Lakers are in trouble – despite championship expectations, they missed the playoffs entirely this season. With a roster full of holes and no head coach, the Lakers have plenty of needs to fill. Adding LaVine would be a huge boost for the roster, but is it even possible?

Financially, the Lakers’ biggest issue is the contract of Russell Westbrook, who’s owed $47 million next season. Per Bleacher Report, “Keeping Westbrook and his $47.1 million is a non-starter.”

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The Lakers would need to create a sign-and-trade move with the Chicago Bulls to sign Zach LaVine. In order to do so, they’d need a place to send Westbrook. LA could find a third team to take on Westbrook, but it’s unlikely they’ll find a partner without attaching assets. Bleacher Report mentioned Oklahoma City, Indiana, and Orlando as potential options, but the feasibility is questionable.

A buyout remains the Lakers’ best hope with Westbrook, which would clean up their books significantly. If they were able to achieve that, adding LaVine would become a much more realistic possibility.

LaVine would be a good fit in Los Angeles, adding spacing much needed around the LeBron James-Anthony Davis duo.

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The key that would unlock a successful Lakers offseason is finding a solution to the Russell Westbrook problem. It’s not that he’s that bad of a player, it’s simply his massive contract that restricts the team from building out the roster. LaVine could be an excellent addition for Los Angeles – it’s just up to the Lakers to make it happen.