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NBA Rumors: Lakers Had 'Internal Discussions' on DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic Trade

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 2, 2022

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) brings the ball up during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

The Los Angeles Lakers have had "internal discussions" about the possibility of trading for Chicago Bulls stars DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vučević.

ESPN's Zach Lowe reported that news on the latest edition of the Lowe Post podcast (h/t RealGM and Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago).

"The trade I saw on Twitter was Russ and both picks, one with light protections I think, for DeRozan and Vučević," Lowe said on his podcast.

"I can tell you 100 percent for sure the Lakers have had internal discussions about that very possibility [trading for DeRozan and Vučević] if it would ever come up.

"Not that they [the Lakers] would do it, let me be clear. Just, you look around the league, like any responsible team would."

The picks in reference are an unprotected 2027 first-rounder and a 2029 first-rounder (top-five-protected) in conjunction with guard Russell Westbrook.

Lowe was referencing Twitter speculation from The Ringer's Bill Simmons, who suggested that Chicago should start its rebuilding process.

Bill Simmons @BillSimmons

Hey Chicago… it’s time…<a href="https://t.co/xykaIvVPwp">pic.twitter.com/xykaIvVPwp</a>

The Bulls and Lakers are both in need of shake-ups.

Chicago is sitting 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 9-12 record, one year after winning just one playoff game following a sixth-place finish.

Still, DeRozan has been tremendous. The 33-year-old has averaged 26.3 points on 52.0 percent shooting, 4.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds for the Bulls. Vučević is posting double-double numbers with 15.6 points and 11.2 rebounds per matchup.

Meanwhile, the 8-12 Lakers have won six of their last eight games but still reside 13th in the Western Conference. Westbrook, whose contract runs out following this season after he picked up his $47.1 million option, has been demoted to the bench and averages 15.0 points on 39.9 percent shooting.

His expiring contract and the two first-round picks arguably serve as the team's best tradable assets. The Lakers could continue their push to compete around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, while the Bulls could begin anew with a younger core.

For now, the Lakers and Bulls are scuffling through the beginning part of the season as they hope for brighter days.