“The name that’s become more interesting to me as this season has gone on and it’s become clearer and clearer that the Bulls are not going to get it together is LaVine,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe said.
Lowe mentioned that LaVine is a Klutch Sports client that is on a massive deal and could be an option for Los Angeles.
“I know there has been some thought about with people around the Lakers as a potential trade slash ‘that’s kind of our cap space acquisition,’” Lowe said of LaVine.
The Bulls have really struggled in the 2022-23 season after earning the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference last season. Chicago currently sits in the No. 11 seed in the conference and hasn’t been able to sustain success this season.
LaVine just signed a brand new deal with the Bulls in the offseason, tying him to the franchise through the 2025-26 season. He has a player option on the deal for the 2026-27 campaign.
If the team decides to blow things up, it could move LaVine for a hefty return given how long he is under contract.
The Lakers just made a deal for Rui Hachimura to help bolster their roster this season, but LaVine would be an even bigger acquisition that may actually make Los Angeles a title contender.
So far in the 2022-23 season, LaVine is averaging 23.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from beyond the arc.
He’d fit in well around LeBron James and Anthony Davis because of his ability to shoot the 3 and create his own shot.
To match salaries in a potential trade, the Lakers would likely need to move guard Russell Westbrook to get LaVine. The team would also have to move off of some of its assets, which would likely mean the team’s first-round pick in the 2027 or 2029 draft. It’s quite possible the Bulls would want both future picks in a deal.
It makes sense that the Lakers would want to go hunting for a star to maximize James’ time with the team, but they’d likely have to mortgage their future to do so.
Right now, the Lakers are the No. 13 seed in the Western Conference, but they are just three games back of the No. 5 seed. With so many teams competing for a playoff spot in the conference this season, adding a player like LaVine would certainly help the Lakers separate themselves from the pack.