The 2023-24 NBA season is just getting started, but it’s safe to say the Chicago Bulls will enter rebuild mode at some point. Zach LaVine could be one of the first to leave the team, with the Los Angeles Lakers as a potential destination.
The 28-year-old could give them depth and talent behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the purple and gold would rather trade for Demar DeRozan or Alex Caruso instead of LaVine.
“I’ve actually heard that they’re more interested in DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso. A.C., he’s the one that got away,” Buha said in an appearance on Hoops Tonight, via Lakers Nation. “Lakers fans, it still bothers them. Inside of the organization, it’s still a very divisive topic. And then DeMar is someone the Lakers have courted for several years now.“
This could make more sense for the Lakers
DeRozan could bring not only an upgrade in terms of talent but also more veteran presence in the locker room. The team has good memories from Caruso’s time in LA, where he contributed to the franchise’s 17th NBA championship in 2020.
Besides, the financial factor could make them even more logical targets for the Lakers. While LaVine is due more than $40 million in each of the three seasons remaining on his contract, DeRozan’s deal is up in 2024 and Caruso is making less than $10m in the next two years.
“Both of those guys are on more manageable contracts. Alex has a partial guarantee for next season, DeMar is an expiring contract,” Buha added. “DeMar comes in, he’s that over the top shotmaker that the team seemingly doesn’t really have outside of when LeBron’s jumper is falling. And then Alex Caruso, one of the best point of attack defenders in the league, one of the best perimeter in the league period. We’ve seen the success he’s had next to LeBron and AD in a Lakers jersey, so I think both of those guys make more sense within what the Lakers need. There’s real interest in all three guys, but from what I’ve heard DeMar and Alex are higher on their priority list.”
Lakers aim to go further than last season
In Darvin Ham’s first year as head coach, the Lakers built on an unexpected resurgence after the February deadline to make the 2023 Conference Finals. They didn’t have enough firepower to compete against eventual champions Nuggets, but they certainly laid a foundation for this season.
SURVEY Should the Lakers trade for LaVine?
Should the Lakers trade for LaVine?
ALREADY VOTED 0 PEOPLE
The team re-signed key contributors such as D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves and Jarred Vanderbilt while adding the likes of Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince, and Christian Wood.
Their 11-8 record suggests the Lakers are still a work in progress, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try and make even more upgrades to the roster. But the trade deadline is still months away from us, so they could take their time before making any decisions.