As the February 9 trade deadline gets closer and closer, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to look at potential ways to improve the roster. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers are one of the teams keeping an eye on a possible trade for Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine.
“That is why someone like Zach LaVine, the Bulls’ two-time All-Star who’s in the first season of a five-year, $215 million maximum contract, would have no shortage of suitors if Chicago decided to move the 27-year-old guard before next Thursday’s deadline — despite some concern about his recovery process from offseason arthroscopic surgery on his left knee,” Fischer wrote. “The Lakers, Heat, Knicks and Mavericks have consistently been mentioned by league personnel as holding motivations to land LaVine if the time does arrive. Portland also showed interest in signing LaVine last offseason, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Atlanta loomed as a potential LaVine destination before the Hawks splurged for Dejounte Murray.”
As mentioned by Fischer, LaVine inked a massive contract extension with the Bulls this past summer. However, Chicago has jumped out to a 23-27 start to the season and, in turn, could choose to sell assets at the trade deadline this year.
LaVine has put together a solid season for the Bulls this year. The star guard has appeared in 46 of the Bulls’ 50 games and is playing 35.8 minutes per contest. He’s averaging 23.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game on 46.1% shooting from the field and 37.7% shooting from behind the three-point line.
For the Lakers, adding a player like LaVine to the mix could help improve their title chances, especially considering how great LeBron James and Anthony Davis have played this year.
Lakers Previously Connected to Zach LaVine
This isn’t the first time the Lakers have been connected to LaVine. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report suggested a megadeal that would send the Bulls star to LA.
“Look, there might be a million and one more likely scenarios for the Lakers than a megadeal for Zach LaVine, but this franchise owes it to itself—and its stars—to leave no stone unturned in its search for upgrades,” Buckley wrote. “The Lakers didn’t really crack into their asset collection to add Hachimura. They still have two future first-round picks at their disposal, plus sizable salaries to make the money work. If a star becomes available, they’ll have a non-zero chance of winning the bidding war. Should the Chicago Bulls decide this current core isn’t cutting it, they might be willing to unload LaVine and the mountain of money he’ll collect over at least the next three seasons (player option for 2026-27). The 27-year-old’s ability to thrive both on and off the ball could make him a snug fit with James and Davis.”
Jeanie Buss Discusses LeBron James’ Frustrations
As the Lakers look for ways to improve, James is clearly upset with the current state of the team. During an appearance on the Know Mercy podcast with Stephen A. Smith, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss discussed James’ frustrations.
“I mean, unless he’s winning, he’s not going to be happy,” Buss explained. “That’s him. That’s what drives him. And I could see why he would be frustrated. We’re all frustrated with, you know, we’re down four starters, and he’s our only remaining starter, and he’s gotta show up and play. And, the burden’s on him.”