NBA Exec Floats Blockbuster Lakers Trade for $215 Million 2-Time All-Star

Mo Bamba

Getty The Los Angeles Lakers could use Mo Bamba as a trade chip.

The Los Angeles Lakers may have to turn to the trade market if the franchise wants to improve their roster this offseason. During an exclusive conversation with Heavy Sports NBA insider Sean Deveney, one Western Conference executive noted that the Lakers could still look to strike a blockbuster deal with the Bulls for either Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan.

“Mo Bamba, he is a guy to look at around the draft,” the exec explained while floating potential Lakers trade options. “They probably will guarantee him even though he is not playing all that much and look to bring in a first-round pick in a trade.

“Max Christie, too, he has been impressive early on, if he can fill in, he has a lot of 3-and-D potential. He could be a trade chip if there is a star available around the draft, you could imagine him and Bamba as part of a package for Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan if the Bulls wanted to go that route.”

LaVine would be the biggest prize for the Lakers and his five-year, $215 million contract reflects his potential upside. The Bulls have been unwilling to trade the two-time All-Star, but it will be worth watching to see if the team looks to move off his $40 million salary ahead of the 2023-24 season.

LaVine still has four seasons remaining on his current deal. The star guard is averaging 24.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and four assists while shooting 38.4% from long range during 62 starts in 2022-23.

The DeMar DeRozan to Lakers Rumors Won’t Die

Few players have been linked more to the Lakers than DeRozan and continue to point back to a bad decision by the Los Angeles front office to trade for Russell Westbrook over signing the star during the 2021 offseason. With Westbrook off the roster, the Lakers can finally turn the page on the disappointing Russ era.

It remains to be seen if the Lakers have enough assets to entice the Bulls to trade DeRozan. The All-Star has admitted on multiple occasions he believed he was joining the Lakers back in 2021.

“I felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal and that we were going to figure it out,” DeRozan told NBA insider Chris Haynes during a November 16, 2021 interview. “I was going to come home. The business side of things just didn’t work out. A couple of things didn’t align. It didn’t work out. It’s just part of the business, part of the game. My next option was definitely Chicago. So, looking back at it, it worked out well.”

Lakers Will Have to ‘Overpay’ Star D’Angelo Russell, Says NBA Exec

The Lakers were able to make major moves at the trade deadline while still maintaining salary cap flexibility for the upcoming offseason. Los Angeles could have as much as $32 million in cap space, per Spotrac, but a more realistic scenario has the Lakers re-signing some of the key pieces they acquired in recent trades. The NBA exec believes the Lakers will look to keep D’Angelo Russell this offseason, but predicts the new deal will be an “overpay.”

“They are going to try to keep as many of those young guys as they can keep because that is why they went ahead and made all those moves to begin with—they wanted young assets so they can start having the basis of a team beyond LeBron,” the Western Conference executive said. “Now, you have to pay D’Angelo Russell, and that is going to be an overpay, almost certainly it will. The fact that there is not much of a free-agent market out there for him, that there are no real buyers, that could help them. But they’ll take care of him.”