The Los Angeles Lakers have less than three weeks to figure out their plans for the NBA trade deadline. L.A. has been heavily involved with rumors around the league, most notably with the Chicago Bulls — Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso — and the Atlanta Hawks with Dejounte Murray. But those are all simply rumors until the Lakers decide to seriously pursue something.
Their talks with the Bulls have been among the most public. The Lakers front office has gone back and forth for several years on how they feel about LaVine, the high-powered offensive shooting guard with a big contract, a history of injuries and poor defensive acumen. But they’ve also looked into a few other Bulls players like former Laker Caruso and almost Laker DeMar DeRozan.
As the trade deadline nears, it appears nothing has changed on the state of talks between the Lakers and Bulls, especially when it comes to each team’s evaluation of Caruso and LaVine, according to Dan Woike of The L.A. Times:
And while the Lakers continue to register no real interest in a Zach LaVine deal, they would still covet Alex Caruso — the former Laker though the Bulls don’t seem to have real interest in trading him.
From this report, it would appear that talks have stalled completely between the two teams. The Lakers have reportedly reiterated time and time again that they no longer have interest in acquiring LaVine, while the Bulls have made it known league-wide that they don’t want to part with Caruso.
The Bulls, at 21-23 in ninth place of the Eastern Conference, are stuck in a middling position that could lead them in any direction at the deadline. At this rate, it seems the likeliest of these scenarios is that they stand pat with what they have and try to make a postseason run.
And although the Lakers are actually one spot behind the Bulls in their conference, the Lakers are closer to a team that needs to be buyers, hence their interest in Caruso over LaVine. Perhaps if the Bulls go on a small losing streak prior to the deadline, they could re-evaluate. But for now, it seems as though things are staying the way they are in Chicago.
Lakers talks with Hawks expected to pick up
An important update was recently given on the state of talks between the Lakers and Hawks surrounding Murray.
According to reports, the Lakers made an offer centered around D’Angelo Russell, Jalen Hood-Schifino and their 2029 first-round pick as well as additional draft compensation. The Hawks countered by asking for Austin Reaves, which caused talks to stall although they are expected to pick up closer to the Feb. 8 deadline.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!