Insider Slams Door on Lakers Landing All-Star Trade Target: ‘0% Chance’

Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ search for answers to right their season has seen them linked to several players in trade rumors, including an ongoing connection to Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray thanks in part to his Klutch Sports representation.

They have been linked to another Klutch client, Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine, for even longer, dating back to his unrestricted free agency in 2022.

But that connection may have run its course before beginning.

“I think there’s a 0% chance of the Lakers trading for Zach LaVine,” said ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst on the “Brian Windhhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast on January 15. “Zero. O point o.”

LaVine, 28, is a Los Angeles resident in the offseason, and he and the Bulls have been in lock-step about finding a new home for the two-time All-Star but to no avail.

Potential suitors have to wrestle with LaVine’s extensive injury history, which includes a foot injury that cost him 17 games this season, a period during which his team played better. But there is also the matter of the remaining three years on LaVine’s five-year, $215 million contract.

Chicago has maintained a high asking price too.

“One league source said the Bulls would be focused on getting a good young player, multiple first-round picks and salary filler if they decide to trade LaVine,” NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson wrote on June 19. “Another said one first-round pick and an established, high-end player might be sufficiently intriguing.”

Lakers Trade Target Zach LaVine Having Down Season

LaVine has not been his typical efficient, explosive scoring self this season either amid a shift in his usage under Bulls head coach Billy Donovan.

He is scoring 4.7 fewer points per game while seeing his true shooting clip drop 2.9%.

LaVine’s three-point shooting is also lacking the usual efficiency. A career 38.2% shooter from beyond the arc, LaVine is shooting 34.4% from deep this season. His defensive deficiencies seem to make him an ill-fit for the Lakers, Windhorst’s guest, Tim Bontemps, argued.

Lakers Not Interested in Adding Max Contract

This could all be moot since the latest rumor around the Lakers is that their interest in such a trade has waned.

“I think LaVine, especially after they went through the Russell Westbrook top-heavy roster with three max guys under the old CBA, you’d basically have to trade at least three players, maybe even four, to get the money to work,” ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks said on the “HoopsHype Podcast” on January 12.

“From what I’ve been told, and, certainly, things change, there’s no appetite to add a third max guy.”

Marks also laid out what that might look like.

Lakers get:

– Zach LaVine

Bulls get:

Rui Hachimura
D’Angelo Russell
Max Christie
– 2029 first-round pick

Marks, a former fixture in the Brooklyn Nets’ front office for two decades, did not mention Christie by name. But the former second-round pick is generating trade buzz around the league, per Dan Woike of the LA Times on January 13.

Hachimura and Russell have been mainstays in Lakers trade rumors. Both players are also available for trade with their restrictions expiring on January 15.