Report: Lakers have had ‘internal discussions’ about trading for DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have had “internal discussions” about trading for Chicago Bulls veterans DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

The potential trade package for DeRozan and Vucevic would include guard Russell Westbrook and the Lakes’ first-round picks in the 2027 and 2029 NBA drafts.

“The trade I saw on Twitter was Russ and both picks, one with light protections I think for DeRozan and Vucevic,” Lowe said on his podcast. “I can tell you 100 percent for sure that the Lakers have had internal discussions about that very possibility, if it would ever come up. Not that they would do that. Let me be clear.”

The Bulls, who are just 9-12 so far this season, could be willing to move off of Vucevic or DeRozan if they decide that this team won’t be successful going forward.

Vucevic may be the more likely trade candidate of the two players, as he’s set to become a free agent at the end of the 2022-23 season.

Chicago made a big splash prior to the 2021-22 season by bringing in DeRozan, and the team was able to secure the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference last season. However, the Bulls fell off in the second half of that season and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

With point guard Lonzo Ball still out of the lineup with a knee injury, the Bulls could look to the future by trading for the Lakers’ picks in the 2027 and 2029 NBA drafts.

How DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic would boost Lakers title chances

As for Los Angeles, a potential DeRozan and Vucevic deal would immediately improve the team’s offense, which has struggled at times this season. The Lakers have been playing better after a 2-10 start, winning six of their last eight games to move into the No. 13 spot in the West.

DeRozan, who was an All-NBA player last season, is averaging 26.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season while shooting 52.0 percent from the field.

He’d be a terrific scoring option next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and Vucevic would give the Lakers another big man that could stretch the floor and score in the post.

While the Lakers may have discussed a deal like this, it’s unclear if the Bulls are willing to blow up their roster this season and go into full rebuild mode by trading away two of their best players.

For now, it seems like the Lakers will continue to build on their recent success until a trade offer that makes sense for the team comes along this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.