Wild Proposed 3-Team Trade Sends 2-Time All-Star to Lakers

Lakers exec Rob Pelinka

Getty Lakers exec Rob Pelinka

With rumors swirling connecting Zach LaVine to the Los Angeles Lakers, L.A. is going to need some Hollywood magic to be able to find a way to land the All-Star guard. The Lakers do not have any cap space this offseason and would have to pull off a sign-and-trade with the Bulls to have a chance at adding LaVine. The two-time All-Star is a free agent and would have to force his way to the Lakers for this scenario to play out.

Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus believes the Lakers may need to involve a third team to have a realistic opportunity to secure LaVine, something the NBA insider admitted was a long shot. Pincus floated the Magic as a potential team the Lakers could look to in order to facilitate a sign-and-trade for LaVine.

“Because of specific injury exclusions in his contract, triggered by [Jonathan] Isaac missing over 25 games this season, his remaining three years and $52.2 million is now $23.6 million guaranteed,” Pincus detailed on May 11, 2022. “But that team-friendly savings only triggers if Isaac is waived. The Magic could look to move Isaac with Terrence Ross and, if the team drafts Holmgren, perhaps Mo Bamba via sign-and-trade. Would Chicago be willing to take Ross, Horton-Tucker and a first-rounder from the Lakers if LaVine insisted on leaving?

“What would the Lakers need to give to get Orlando to use its cap room on Westbrook? Is dumping Isaac and Ross enough, or would the Magic also require a first-round selection?”

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The Lakers Are Among the Favorites to Land LaVine

Vegas has the Lakers as one of the teams with the best odds to sign LaVine. According to BetOnline.AG, the Lakers are third in the odds to land LaVine if the guard opts to leave Chicago. The Spurs (2-to-1) and Blazers (3-to-1) have the best odds followed by the Lakers at 4-to-1. One league source told Heavy.com’s NBA insider Sean Deveney that the LaVine rumors are an attempt by Klutch Sports to get the guard a massive new deal from the Bulls.

“A lot of this is coming from the agents, where they want to not only get him paid but raise his profile at the same time,” one league source told Heavy. “That is their M.O. The more drama in the process, the better. No one was talking about Zach. Now everyone is. Mission accomplished.

“…It is still Zach’s team. Klutch just wants to make sure everyone knows it.”

Would the Magic Have an Interest in a 3-Way Trade?

The idea that the Magic would want to take on Westbrook’s $47 million salary is unrealistic. Orlando already has a crowded backcourt with Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs and Markelle Fultz. Westbrook does not suddenly make the Magic a title contender and would take away minutes from the team’s young core.

Jonathan Isaac is a realistic trade chip given the Magic hold the No. 1 pick. Orlando is expected to select Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren or Paolo Banchero to play power forward next to Wendell Carter Jr. Isaac’s $69 million contract runs through the 2024-25 season and the forward has a $17.4 million salary. The Magic big man has missed the last two seasons with an ACL injury and could be the odd man out in Orlando.

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