NBA Insider Makes Definitive Statement About Lakers Trade Assets

Austin Reaves and D'Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Getty Austin Reaves and D'Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls are in the same boat.

Nobody wants their unwanted players.

“There’s no team interested in calling the Lakers for the players that they want to trade and I don’t know if they want to trade Austin Reaves. Teams would be interested in that,” ESPN’s NBA insider Brian Windhorst said on the January 9 episode of the “NBA Today.”

The Lakers have no desire to trade Reaves, per multiple reports. The player they want to get rid of in a potential trade for an upgrade is the demoted D’Angelo Russell.

Unfortunately, like the Bulls’ Zach LaVine, Russell has zero trade market.

ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins urged the Lakers to take a swing for the fences and go after LaVine, which they are reluctant to do because of his injury history and massive contract.

“They made one a couple of years ago when they got Russell Westbrook and it’s no shade to Russ but he just didn’t match with [Anthony Davis] and [LeBron James],” Perkins said. “I’m still standing on taking a gamble with Zach LaVine.”

“I know we’ve only seen him in spurts as far as him being consistent in Chicago under uh Billy Donovan but Zach LaVine is a bucket-getter. I just want to see him under the wing of LeBron James and see if his level of, which I know it will, professionalism, will go up. That’s all he’s lacking. His athleticism is there, so I know he could slide those puppies on the defensive side of things so at the end of the day he is a walking bucket and he is an upgrade for the Los Angeles Lakers,” he explained.

Lakers, LeBron James Admit Russell Westbrook Trade a Mistake

The Lakers are wary that a LaVine trade would end up like the Westbrook trade — depleting their depth and getting stuck with his massive contract.

“Sources told ESPN that every member of the organization involved in the Russell Westbrook trade — including James – will admit they misjudged it, owning part of the blame,” ESPN’s Dave McMenamin wrote on January 9.

The Bulls are 2-0 since LaVine returned from a foot injury.

In his return, the 6-foot-5 guard, who starred in UCLA in college near the Lakers home, averaged 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.0 block while shooting a tepid 42% from the field and 27.3% from 3.

“Any deal to acquire Zach LaVine — the Bulls have been linked to the Lakers as a potential trade destination — and his $40 million salary would almost certainly require the inclusion of Russell’s $17.3 million contract,” McMenamin wrote.

Bull Session Helps Lakers

Tuesday’s controversial win over the Toronto Raptors pushed the Lakers to 2-1 since beleaguered coach Darvin Ham called for a bull session following The Athletic’s report of disconnect in their locker room.

“Hell yeah, I open the floor,” Ham told The Athletic. “Give me some feedback. I don’t have pride. My pride is not crazy. My ego — all that. We had a couple (players) speak up. I’ll just leave it there, but we had a few guys speak up. And right or wrong, I love it. I agreed with most of it, and I disagreed with some.”

Ham’s job is safe, according to NBA insider Marc Stein.

“League sources say Ham continues to enjoy very strong support from Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka,” Stein wrote in his January 8 substack newsletter.




Read More