Bulls Could Spoil Kyle Kuzma-Lakers Reunion With Fire Sale Move

Kyle Kuzma

Getty Kyle Kuzma #33. Washington Wizards

At 10-15 and 13th in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers could look into getting some upgrades around the roster. Among those possible upgrades could be a potential reunion with Kyle Kuzma, but Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explained why a deal with the Chicago Bulls could prevent re-acquiring Kuzma.

“Los Angeles might have Kuzma on its list, but the Bulls may present a better option,” Pincus said. He then detailed the parameters of a potential deal between the Lakers and the Bulls.

“According to NBA sources, the Lakers are interested in both Vučević and DeRozan,” Pincus said. “If L.A. is willing to give up two first-round picks (2027 and 2029) along with Russell Westbrook as a buy-out candidate, the Bulls may end up in a better lottery position to retain their pick in June. This is the draft to do it.”

The Bulls traded a 2023 top-four protected pick when they acquired Vucevic from the Magic. If they finish outside the top four, the Magic will get their pick.

If the Lakers pulled the trigger on that deal, they wouldn’t be able to offer a first-round pick to offer Washington in a deal for Kuzma. The Lakers traded Kuzma, along with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harell, and the 22nd overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, for Russell Westbrook during the 2021 offseason.

Zach LaVine Not on Trade Market

In Pincus’ article, he revealed that while the Bulls could look into trading Zach LaVine, they have not done so yet.

“Chicago could also look to move LaVine (after Jan. 15), who re-signed on a five-year, $215.2 million contract this summer. His name hasn’t buzzed yet on the rumor mill, but Chicago could find willing suitors if it made the two-time All-Star available,” Pincus said.

Pincus detailed what the alternative is if the Bulls decide to keep the stars currently on their roster around.

“The alternative is losing its first to Orlando—barring a low-percentage lottery miracle—and re-signing Vučević in July. The team would have its mid-level exception (likely in the $11 million range) and smaller trades to try to perfect what many around the league believe to be a low-ceiling roster.”

Teams are ‘Watching Chicago Very Closely’

According to Pincus, teams are keeping a close eye on the Bulls to see if they decide to start over.

“Everyone is watching Chicago very closely,” an NBA source told Pincus. “They’re so poorly constructed, they need to blow it up.”

Pincus went on to say that many around the NBA believe that the Bulls’ best option at this point is to simply start over since they are not experiencing much success with their current team.

“Chicago could divest itself from everything that isn’t nailed down (outside of its young, developing prospects) and start over, which is precisely what many others believe it should do,” Pincus said.

Last season was the first time the Bulls had made the playoffs since 2017, and they have not made it past the first round since 2015, which dates back to the days of Derrick Rose and Tom Thibodeau.

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