LeBron James, Anthony Davis Raise Eyebrows With Possible Lakers Trade Target

Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Anthony Davis, left, and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers will go star shopping via trade this offseason. But in the NBA, that label can apply to a wide breadth of players, and recent developments beyond the team’s control could impact their plans.

However, the Lakers could have an ace up their sleeve: a trade target they know is available and with whom they already have an in.

Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine.

LaVine is a Klutch Sports Group client, as are Lakers stars LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Jarred Vanderbilt. He created a stir among fans when he was spotted approaching James and Davis at the agency’s pro day for its next wave of prospects, including Bronny James.

“Why was Zach LaVine with LeBron and AD,” BetMGM’s social team posted on X on May 22, including a meme of ESPN’s Brian Windhorst gesturing for emphasis.

Fans quickly noted the preexisting relationships between the three stars, and their partnerships with Klutch.

Some fans on social media had fun with the video and the idea of the trio playing together.

“See you fellas next year,” one fan wrote, posting a photoshopped image of the trio.

One fan attempted to read James’ lips in the video originally posted by Bleacher Report as he spoke with LaVine, settling on “my dawg.”


Zach LaVine Comes With Injury Concerns

LaVine has been available for a trade for the better part of the last two years. But the Bulls’ previously hefty asking price has hindered their efforts to move him.

He comes with injury concerns as he hits Year 3 of a five-year, $215.1 million contract.

However, the two-time former All-Star could represent the ideal balance between cost to acquire in a trade and value on the court. And the Bulls could be desperate to move on after another lost season.

But LaVine could still face a challenging path to joining the Lakers in a trade.

“I think he [James] wants aggressiveness because that’s always his default,” The Athletic’s Sam Amick said on “The Rich Eisen Show” on May 17. “Now, ever since the Russell Westbrook trade didn’t work, LeBron has lost juice in Laker Land. He just has. They have not listened to him as much, and it’s funny because the narrative and the idea that Klutch Sports runs the Lakers just couldn’t be farther from the truth. A lot of times most times they are told no.”

The Lakers have ample trade assets in terms of players and draft capital. But a lack of available targets and a potential bargain price tag on a depressed player asset in LaVine could help the two sides finally align for a deal.

LeBron James Was in Favor of Adding Zach LaVine at Trade Deadline

James was in favor of acquiring LaVine at the trade deadline in February, The Athletic’s Sam Amick, Anthony Slater, and Jovan Buha wrote on February 14. But the Lakers focused elsewhere.

So the Bulls started trade talks with the Detroit Pistons. But LaVine shut it down for the season in February with surgery to address a foot injury.

There was speculation that the timing of the surgery – and even the decision to undergo the procedure – was to prevent that deal from going through.

However, the Bulls would prefer not to deal with the Lakers because of the presence of James, according to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus.

“Their owner doesn’t want LeBron infringing upon Michael’s legacy,” Pincus told The Athletic’s Johan Buva on the May 21 episode of his “Buha’s Block” podcast. “The intel is that they’re just not gonna help LeBron.”