Report: Lakers Focused On Internal Improvement Instead Of Zach LaVine Trade With Bulls

Zach LaVine, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, NBA trade rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Los Angeles Lakers’ reported trade interest in Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine at this early juncture of the season is best described as TBD, according to NBA insider Marc Stein.

The Lakers are currently focused on internal improvement. They believe the returns of Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent will be major boosts.

LaVine would like to land with the Lakers, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs or Sacramento Kings, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. The two-time All-Star has the same agent (Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group) as Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

The Lakers improved to 8-6 on the season after beating the Houston Rockets on November 19. The most likely framework of a LaVine deal for the Lakers would center around D’Angelo Russell, who waived his implied no-trade clause this past offseason. It’d also likely need to feature Rui Hachimura or Vincent as additional matching salary, another player and either the team’s 2029 or 2030 first-round pick.

The Lakers would realistically have to wait until at least December 15, when most of their roster becomes trade-eligible, to acquire LaVine.

The Lakers’ biggest concern in a potential LaVine trade is his contract. In addition to his $40.1 million salary for 2023-24, LaVine is owed $138 million over the next three years, which includes a $49 million player option in 2026-27.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

LaVine, who scored a career-high 51 points this season against the Detroit Pistons, is averaging 21.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 42.7% from the floor, 34.0% from 3 and 87.0% from the free-throw line. The guard signed a five-year, $215 million contract in the offseason of 2022.

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