The Los Angeles Lakers could reportedly trade for a 27-year-old $301 million superstar.
On the January 27 episode of his podcast, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that there are people around the Lakers who view Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine as a potential trade target.
“The name that has become more interesting to me as the season has gone on and it’s become clearer and clearer that the Bulls are not gonna get it together is LaVine,” Lowe said. “Who is a Klutch client, who is on a gigantic contract, who I know there has been some thought about with people around the Lakers as a potential trade/that’s kind of our cap space acquisition. Obviously, they sacrificed a lot of cap space potentially on Hachimura, which I read that also as a signal that maybe the Kyrie thing is over for them too.”
LaVine has the same agent (Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group) as Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, so he’s been heavily linked to the purple and gold. The two-time All-Star and UCLA product, who began his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves, agreed to a five-year, $215.2 million deal with the Bulls in July as an unrestricted free agent. LaVine will have earned more than $301 million in his career once his current contract expires after the 2026-27 season.
After making the playoffs last season, the Bulls have struggled in 2022-23. They are only 23-26 and some executives believe Chicago could look to trade LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic and embark on a full-scale rebuild, league sources told Heavy Sports.
Zach LaVine Wants to Go to the Lakers?
In a December 21 article called “Bulls’ Turmoil Has Teams Eyeing Trades for All-Star, Key Role Player,” Heavy Sports senior insider Sean Deveney posted 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.”
LaVine is averaging 23.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists this season for the Bulls while shooting 46.1% from the field, 37.4% from beyond the arc and 84.1% from the free-throw line. The two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion is 21st in the league in scoring.
Lakers Urged to Trade for Zach LaVine by Bleacher Report
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley wrote on January 26 that the Lakers should pursue a “megadeal” for LaVine, who told TMZ Sports in May 2022 that he’s always been a big fan of LakeShow.
“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 a player option for the 2026-27 season. His massive contract includes a 15% trade bonus.