The Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling mightily this season. They’re currently three games below .500, holding the 13th spot in the Western Conference standings with a 23-26 record. As we approach the Feb 9 trade deadline, pressure is on GM Rob Pelinka to improve the roster to help aging star, LeBron James.
Numerous players have been linked to the Lakers recently, including Bojan Bogdanovic and Mike Conley. Recently, another name that has popped up in trade talks for the Lakers has been Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine.
LaVine, a six-year veteran, is a dynamic and exciting player who has established himself as one of the best scorers in the league. He is averaging 23.6 points per game this season. He also is a skilled playmaker and an above-average defender.
Why are the Lakers looking to trade for Zach LaVine?
The Lakers, who are currently in the hunt for the top spot in the Western Conference, need a scoring guard to complement the playmaking abilities of their star player LeBron James. LaVine would fit that role perfectly, as he is a proven scorer who can create his own shot and also help to stretch the floor for James and co-star Anthony Davis.
The trade rumors have been fueled by recent comments from ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who first reported on this possibility in his podcast ‘The Lowe Post’. One of the key factors he mentioned that could make this trade go through was the association of Lavine with Klutch Sports, the agency that also manages LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He acknowledged that the Lakers have been keeping an eye on Lavine for a while.
The Bulls would accept Russell Westbrook, the 2027 and 2029 FRP from the Lakers for Zach LaVine, according to Zach Lowe and Bobby Marks. pic.twitter.com/mHjza5fMB2
— Major Sports Alerts (@sports___alerts) January 26, 2023
Chicago, on the other hand, has not performed as per expectations this season and would likely be open to moving LaVine for the right package of assets. It is also reported that the Lakers have the assets to make a trade happen, including their coveted 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks that they’ve clung on to so far that could be used to entice the Bulls. Veteran guard Russell Westbrook’s name has also popped up in these trade scenarios occasionally.
Lavine recently signed a five-year, $215 million max extension with the Bulls last July. So, Westbrook is likely to be in the package to get him as he also has a huge contract. The Lakers have also been linked to other players like Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz and Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets, but LaVine appears to be the most likely target.
It is important to note that making a trade is not always easy and that many factors need to be considered before a move is made. However, the Lakers are in a good position to make a trade and with the trade deadline approaching, it will be interesting to see if they make a move for LaVine or any other player.
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