The Los Angeles Lakers are 2-2 just as seven other teams in the NBA entering play on November 1 are, two of which are in their conference.
But, with their goals never falling short of pursuing a championship, there are already suggestions coming in about improving the roster in what is expected to be a highly competitive Western Conference playoff race.
LaVine, 28, is averaging 24.5 points on 53.3% true shooting, the latter being the third-lowest mark of his career. It is thanks in large part to his three-point efficiency. LaVine, a career 38.3% shooter, is shooting just 29.4% from deep at a rate that ties the second-highest of his career.
It is reasonable, then, to believe that, if the Lakers were to trade for LaVine, he could turn things around in that aspect. He is also averaging 4.5 rebounds and what would be a career-low 1.3 assists per game.
He is in the second year of a five-year, $215 million contract.
Bulls Have Explored Their Options
But Chicago has also engaged in trade talks with the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers, among other prospective teams, at least gauging interest in a potential trade for the former two-time All-Star.
Philadelphia is expected to make another run at LaVine following their trade sending James Harden to the LA Clippers for a package of players and draft capital. LaVine is a fellow Klutch Sports client and New Balance brand ambassador with Sixers rising star Tyrese Maxey with the former sharing a photo from their most recent shoot together.
“The Bulls, we already know they’re kind of going nowhere,” Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix surmised on the “Dan Patrick Show” on October 31. “LaVine solves the problem of an extra scorer and a ball-handler.”
Proposed Lakers Trade Lands Bulls’ Zach LaVine
The Lakers are essentially out of the hunt for LaVine – or any similar star, really – until mid-December. That is when players like D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura can be included in trades after signing new contracts this offseason.
There have also been reports of the Bulls’ potential asking price, or at least their expected return range.
Absent a promising enough young talent to entice the Bulls – a trade could look like this:
– Rui Hachimura
– D’Angelo Russell
– 2028 first-round pick
– 2030 first-round pick swap
“One league source said the Bulls would be focused on getting a good young player, multiple first-round picks and salary filler if they decide to trade LaVine,” Johnson wrote on June 19. “Another said one first-round pick and an established, high-end player might be sufficiently intriguing.”
Russell is averaging 17.5 points, 7.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game to start the season. But he is also still struggling from beyond the arc. He is shooting 30.4% from three. It is a continuation of his 2023 postseason. He re-signed with L.A. this offseason on a two-year, $36 million contract. But he also waived his implied no-trade clause, possibly setting up a move like the one above.
Hachimura is averaging 8.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in his three appearances this season.
Perhaps most encouragingly, he is shooting 33.3% from deep. That is a marked improvement from last season. Then, he shot just 29.6% with the Lakers in 33 regular season appearances with nine of them being starts.
That could play a significant role in what the Lakers would be willing to offer. But the Bulls have held firm in their asking price to this point. If the Lakers want to finally land LaVine – who lives in Los Angeles during the offseason – they might have to pay up.