Lakers Rumors: Zach LaVine Would Be 'Dreamiest' Trade as LA Monitors Bulls Situation

Adam WellsDecember 15, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 11: Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls reacts after scoring during the first half of the game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on December 11, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

As the Chicago Bulls look for ways to end their recent rough stretch, the Los Angeles Lakers are keeping an eye on one of their best players in a potential trade if they decide to tear things down.

Per Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer, Zach LaVine would satisfy the Lakers' "dreamiest returns" for the two future first-round draft picks they have available to trade.

Fischer did note "a far more realistic outcome" for the Lakers would be flipping Russell Westbrook to Chicago for DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vuฤeviฤ‡ if the Bulls decide to sell.

Amid speculation the Lakers could make a trade during the offseason, general manager Rob Pelinka explained what it would take for him to use the 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks in a deal.

Dave McMenamin @mcten

Pelinka says their "draft capital," if included in a trade, must bring back talent that clearly improves L.A.'s championship chances <a href="https://t.co/e6XpMQG1Vz">https://t.co/e6XpMQG1Vz</a>

At the same press conference, Pelinka also expressed a desire to make sure the Lakers do right by LeBron James after he gave them a commitment by signing a two-year contract extension.

"Let me abundantly clear: We have one of the great players in LeBron James to ever play the game on our team," Pelinka told reporters. "He committed to us with a long-term contract, a three-year contract. So of course we will do everything we can, picks included, to make deals that give us a chance to help LeBron get to the end."

Most of the talk during the offseason was centered around Myles Turner and Buddy Hield with the Indiana Pacers, but the Lakers didn't want to give up both of those first-round picks for those players.

LaVine would give the Lakers a primary ballhandler who is capable of creating on his own and can score from anywhere on the floor. The two-time All-Star is only shooting 35.4 percent from three-point range to start this season, but he made 39.6 percent of his attempts behind the arc in the previous three seasons.

Another aspect that likely appeals to the Lakers is LaVine's contract. He is in the first season of a five-year, $215 million deal that includes a player option for 2026-27.

The Lakers have won nine of their last 15 games after a 2-10 start, but they are still in 12th place in the Western Conference.