The Chicago Bulls and Zach LaVine don’t seem to be on the same page anymore. He’s gotten into several stand-offs with coach Billy Donovan, and he recently snubbed a member of their PR team as he walked to the locker room.
If you’ve seen the NBA long enough, then you must’ve seen this happen way too many times already. The Bulls are struggling, and LaVine is in his prime and feels like he’s wasting his talents in the Windy City.
As much as the Bulls would rather try and run it back and stay competitive, chances are that the situation will become unsustainable at some point. Enter multiple teams keeping tabs on LaVine’s situation, and it could be just a matter of time before we see him somewhere else.
And according to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Los Angeles Lakers could be a safe haven for the UCLA product, who also happens to share agents with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. However, it’s not like they’re willing to break the bank for him.
Lakers May Not Be That High On LaVine
“Philadelphia’s interest in LaVine has been overstated, as covered here, while I’ve been advised that the Lakers’ reported interest at this early juncture of the season is best described (at most) as TBD,” Stein wrote.
There’s another determining factor, which is that the Lakers cannot trade most of their potential trade chips until later in the season, and the Bulls might not want to wait for that long:
“The Lakers, for starters, couldn’t trade Austin Reaves or Rui Hachimura even if they wanted to before Jan. 15. A further slew of summer signees — D’Angelo Russell, Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish, Jaxson Hayes and Christian Wood — can’t be traded before Dec. 15,” added Stein.
Lakers Want To Get Better From Within
The Los Angeles Lakers could use another floor-spacer next to LeBron and Anthony Davis. Then again, LaVine is entering the second year of a five-year pact, and the new CBA makes it tough to put together three players making big money.
LaVine is set to make north of $43 million this season. That’s a lot of money for a potential third-scoring option with a history of subpar defense and a temper. Perhaps that’s why the Lakers are reportedly looking to get better from within:
“I’m told the Lakers, at present, are focused on internal improvement, hopeful that getting Jarred Vanderbilt (who is ineligible to be traded this season after signing an extension with the Lakers in September) and Vincent back on the floor regularly will give them a meaningful boost,” Stein added.
LaVine is a borderline All-Star player who could obviously give the Lakers a big scoring boost. Then again, he might not be what they need to get over the hump and get back to the NBA Finals, especially if getting him means giving up most of their depth.
SURVEY Should the Lakers trade for LaVine?
Should the Lakers trade for LaVine?
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