The Los Angeles Lakers have been urged to trade for Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine.
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley wrote on January 26 that the Lakers should pursue a “megadeal” for LaVine.
“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.”
LaVine has the same agent (Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group) as Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The two-time All-Star and two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion, who is averaging 23.7 points this season, agreed to a five-year, $215.2 million deal with the Bulls last offseason.
LaVine will have earned more than $301 million in his career once his current contract expires after the 2026-27 season. The UCLA product has a player option for the 2026-27 campaign and his deal includes a 15% trade bonus.
Zach LaVine Wants to Play for the Lakers
In a December 21 column called “Bulls’ Turmoil Has Teams Eyeing Trades for All-Star, Key Role Player,” Heavy Sports senior insider Sean Deveney published quotes he received from an Eastern Conference executive. The exec told Deveney that LaVine “wants to go to the Lakers.”
“LaVine wants to go to the Lakers, that has been pretty clear for a while now,” the exec said. “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.”
Under CBA rules, the Lakers can trade Russell Westbrook and their unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to the Bulls for LaVine and Coby White. LaVine, 27, told TMZ Sports in May 2022 that he’s always been a big fan of the purple and gold.
Zach LaVine and the Bulls Are Not Seeing Eye-to-Eye?
Shams Charania and Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic reported on December 20 that LaVine and the Bulls were not “seeing eye-to-eye.” The Bulls’ dispute at halftime against the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 18 revolved around LaVine’s defense, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Even more, multiple league sources and sources close to the organization say LaVine and the Bulls are not seeing eye-to-eye,” Charania and Mayberry reported. “Over the past few weeks, there’s been a palpable feeling across various parts of the franchise of a disconnect over LaVine’s situation in Chicago. All of this has been happening while LaVine is in the first season of a five-year, $215 million maximum deal that was signed this summer.”
LaVine is a career 38.4% shooter from beyond the arc. His scoring and shooting skills make him a perfect fit next to James and Davis.