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Zach LaVine Trade Rumors: NBA Exec Believes Bulls Star 'Wants to Go to the Lakers'

Erin WalshDecember 22, 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

If Zach LaVine's time with the Chicago Bulls is coming to an end, there's reportedly one team the veteran shooting guard would be interested in suiting up forβ€”the Los Angeles Lakers.

An Eastern Conference executive told Heavy.com's Sean Deveney:

"A full rebuild kind of thing, that is not going to happen this year, but they could get started on it. They're not going to trade away Zach LaVine during the season. They will have an easier time with moving on from DeMar DeRozan if that is where they go but even that, it is something they would wait until the summer to do, rather than try to pull off a move at the deadline.

"LaVine wants to go to the Lakers, that has been pretty clear for a while now. The agents [from Klutch Sports] want him to be in Los Angeles, he is a UCLA guy and they did some rattling about his contract last offseason, to kind of lay the groundwork if things blew up. Which they seem to be doing."

This isn't the first time LaVine, a former UCLA star, has been linked to the Lakers.

Before he signed his five-year, $215 million max deal with the Bulls over the summer, a Western Conference executive told Deveney that LaVine "would like to be in L.A." and that it was "no secret" that he wanted to join the Purple and Gold.

At the time, the Western Conference executive also floated a possible LaVine for Anthony Davis swap. At this point, it's hard to imagine the Lakers wanting to part with Davis, who has played at a high level when healthy.

Rumors about LaVine being moved have resurfaced following a report from The Athletic's Shams Charania and Darnell Mayberry that stated LaVine and the Bulls "are not seeing eye-to-eye."

Charania and Mayberry added "there's been a palpable feeling across various parts of the franchise of a disconnect over LaVine's situation in Chicago."

K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago then reported that "multiple teammates directed frustration at Zach LaVine" during a "strong exchange" at halftime during the team's 150-136 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

The Bulls have held several team meetings to try and work out their issues. LaVine and DeRozan have also held one-on-one meetings to try and get back on the same page as they've been disconnected all season.

At this point last season, the Bulls were flying high in second place in the Eastern Conference. This season has been nothing short of a disaster for the franchise, which enters Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Hawks 11th in the East with a 12-18 record.

If Chicago continues to struggle, it may look into moving LaVine. If that happens, he could be an interesting fit in L.A, which is 12th in the Western Conference with a 13-17 record.

LaVine earned back-to-back All-Star Game selections the past two seasons. He's averaging 21.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 26 games this season while shooting 44.5 percent from the floor and 36.5 percent from deep.

If it were possible to add him to a lineup that also includes Davis and LeBron James, the Lakers could get back to title contention sooner than later.