Many NBA fans have exaggerated LeBron James’ power over player personnel decisions for almost every team he’s ever played on.
Because of that, James’ Los Angeles Lakers are now seen as a legitimate threat to sign or acquire just about any player with value in the NBA. That brings us to the latest object of Lakers Twitter’s affection, Chicago Bulls superstar Zach LaVine.
As Lakers fans deal with something they have grown accustomed to throughout their lifetimes, an early exit from the postseason, they have already begun fantasizing about the team adding the missing piece that will lead to another championship.
Enter the LaVine talk:
Obsessed Lakers Fan has already gone through the trouble of posting a pretty shabby photoshopped image of LaVine in a Lakers jersey. Of course LaVine’s number couldn’t be 8 in L.A., that’s Kobe-Bryant territory. The details matter.
I mean, OLF isn’t wrong, LaVine would be deadly alongside James and Anthony Davis.
Sippicup89 (I can’t believe I just typed that) cites the Lakers willingness to spend and go into the luxury tax as fuel for his LaVine-to-LA concept.
Former ESPN stats and info contributor, and current York Daily Record writer Shreyas Laddha shot down the wild speculation with this tweet:
There are two important components many are missing.
LaVine Sounds Committed to the Bulls
While players can and often do change their minds, everything LaVine has said suggests he wants to remain with the Bulls.
Last month, LaVine told Chicago media:
I love it here in Chicago. I try to let my game do the talking for me, but also try to worry about the things I haven’t accomplished yet, like winning. This year was great, but also frustrating at the same time. A lot of bright spots ahead. I’m very excited for the future.
I know the discussion centers around a potential trade, but the Lakers nor any other NBA team would be thrilled about parting ways with valuable assets for a guy who didn’t want to leave his previous team.
LaVine will be a free agent after this season, and most expect him to sign a max-deal with the Bulls. It is believed he hasn’t signed an extension because it makes more sense for him to wait until he is eligible for the super-max deal, which isn’t until after the 2021-22 season.
With that comes to possibility that another team could creep up to offer LaVine a slightly cheaper contract, but on a team that is closer to winning a championship.
At that point, the question will be: Does LaVine want to stay and continue to build in Chicago, or head to a team with a more attractive roster for a few less millions.
The Lakers Have Nothing of Value to Offer the Bulls
Let’s be clear, if the Bulls get the inkling LaVine isn’t willing to sign a max-deal with them, they have to trade him. They cannot lose a superstar talent without compensation.
That said, it is difficult to imagine the Lakers being an attractive trade partner. Besides James and Davis, the Lakers don’t have any assets that would come anywhere close to being equal to LaVine. Because James’ presence virtually guarantees a strong regular-season record, the Lakers are unlikely to have a high draft pick to offer.
More than anything, the lack of realistic assets on the Lakers’ side just about kills any logical idea of LaVine landing with the Lakeshow in a trade.
Good try though, Lakers fans.
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