The Los Angeles Lakers jump-started their campaign last season with a slew of trades, landing several key contributors. At 5-5, their uninspiring start has some thinking another such move could be in order.
In his November 13 story titled “5 Wild NBA Trade Ideas That Could Actually Work,” Bailey proposed a three-for-one deal for the Lakers.
Lakers would get:
– DeMar DeRozan
Bulls would get:
– D’Angelo Russell
– Gabe Vincent
– 2030 first-round pick
“Los Angeles Lakers fans would surely quibble over giving up a first-round pick for DeMar DeRozan. He’s 34 years old, has long played an inefficient brand of basketball and has negatively impacted his teams’ plus-minus in 13 of his 15 seasons,” Bailey wrote. “But DeRozan’s expiring contract offers the team a little more flexibility than those of D’Angelo Russell … and Gabe Vincent.”
DeRozan, 34, is averaging 21.2 points on 52.8% true shooting with 4.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds this season. All of those numbers are down from last season. He is playing out the final year of a three-year, $81.9 million contract. There was mutual interest in working out an extension, but talks have gone cold amid the Bulls’ 4-7 start to the season.
“In the aftermath of a deal like this, LA would almost be forced to play Austin Reaves or LeBron James at point guard, which would allow it to fill out the rest of the roster with size and defensive switchability,” Bailey wrote.
Lakers PGs Not Living Up to Expectations
Russell, 27, is averaging 17.3 points on 54.4% true shooting this season. Those numbers are down from last season, while his 28.6% mark from beyond the arc is even worse than his efficiency from downtown in the postseason last year, when he connected on 31.0% of his looks.
The Lakers re-acquired Russell at the trade deadline last season and re-signed him to a two-year, $36 million contract this offseason.
He waived his implied no-trade clause, too, fueling speculation that he could be traded again.
Vincent defected from the Miami Heat this offseason, signing a three-year, $33 million pact in free agency. He has been sidelined for the last six games with a left knee effusion. When he was active, he was not very effective, averaging 6.0 points, 3.0 assists and 1.0 rebounds while shooting 39.3% from the floor overall.
What’s also concerning is that Vincent rose to prominence with a scorching hot run to start the 2023 postseason. He shot 41.3% from deep over the Heat’s first 19 playoff games. But he went just 1-for-14 over the final three games.
This season, Vincent is just 1-for-14 from 3-point range, while the Lakers rank 29th in 3-point efficiency.
The deal would have to wait until December 15 because both Russell and Vincent signed contracts this past offseason. But that only gives both sides more time to confirm what the early going has shown. Chicago also has a glut of guards and might want a more diverse package in return for their best player.
DeMar DeRozan Thought Lakers Contract Was ‘Done Deal’
DeRozan, a six-time All-Star, thought he was going to be a Laker in the summer of 2021 before the organization opted to trade for Russell Westbrook instead.
DeRozan said he was “hell-bent” on playing for the Lakers during his appearance on “The Old Man & The Three” with JJ Reddick in September of 2022. He has since said that he no longer feels the need to play for one of his hometown teams before his career ends. But, with the Bulls’ current struggles and the Lakers’ inconsistency, the opportunity may present itself.