"I expect them to express interest in Zach LaVine."
Do the Lakers need a 3rd star??
— Run It Back (@RunItBackFDTV) November 28, 2023
“I expect them to express interest in Zach LaVine, but he’s making almost $40 million,” Charania said. “And so to total the salaries, to reach that amount in a trade, guys like D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, they are not both trade-eligible till mid-January. And so the Bulls — I’m sure — would covet Austin Reaves in any potential Zach LaVine trade as any team would. If you’re the Lakers and you’re out there trying to pursue a third star, whether that’s Zach LaVine, anyone else that becomes available, the player that teams will ask about is Austin Reaves 100 percent.”
A report from Jake Fischer earlier this month indicated that LaVine is interested in joining the Lakers, as Los Angeles is supposedly one of the five teams on his list of preferred landing spots. However, that interest might not be mutual right now, as Marc Stein reported that the Lakers are focused on internal improvement.
LaVine is having a productive 2023-24 regular season for the Bulls thus far, seeing as how he’s averaging 22.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in 17 games played. But his play hasn’t translated into wins for the Bulls, as the team owns one of the worst records in the Eastern Conference right now.
It’s still early on in the season, but it seems like the Bulls’ front office is under more and more pressure to blow up the current core with each loss. After all, LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic are all 28 years old or older. Players of their ages arguably don’t fit the timeline of a Bulls team that is seemingly far away from playoff contention.
Along with LaVine and DeRozan, Alex Caruso is another Bulls player who has seen his name in trade rumors lately. On paper, he would be a great fit on any contender, considering he is a great perimeter defender at the guard position as well as an unselfish playmaker.
Charania saying that he expects Los Angeles to express interest in trading for LaVine should excite Lakers fans. He is an elite scorer who would likely benefit from playing alongside two of the best players in the NBA in LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Lakers still have quite some time to think over a trade package for LaVine if they do indeed end up expressing interest in him. This season’s NBA trade deadline isn’t until Feb. 8.