Lakers Rumors: ‘No Momentum’ For Zach LaVine Trade With Bulls
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023-24 NBA season hasn’t gone as planned for the Los Angeles Lakers as they have been hovering around .500, in danger of missing the postseason for the second time in the last three years.

Injuries have played a part in it getting to this point, although so have roster deficiencies. With the NBA trade deadline coming up in less than a month, the conversation has already shifted to how the Lakers can upgrade their roster to get back into championship contention before it is too late in the LeBron James and Anthony Davis era.

The most popular name linked to the Lakers in recent weeks have been Zach LaVine, who seems to be on his way out of the Chicago Bulls organization despite signing a big extension just two summers ago.

With the Lakers needing an extra punch on offensive, they have unsurprisingly expressed interest in LaVine, who is a Klutch Sports client and said to prefer to be traded to L.A., where he attended UCLA for one year.

Things could change between now and the deadline, but Malika Andrews of ESPN reported on “NBA Today” that there isn’t any sort of momentum between the Lakers and Bulls on a LaVine trade:

“For what it’s worth, from everything I have been told by sources within the Lakers, there is no movement for them to be looking to make a deal for Zach LaVine. Of course, everything is fluid, as Stephen A. says, and things could change. But at this moment, there is no momentum toward that.”

LaVine’s contract is likely playing a big role in this as the Lakers are reportedly hesitant to take it back in a trade. After this season, LaVine is owed around $90 million for the next two years and then has a $49 million player option for 2026-27.

While LaVine is a talented player and perhaps the third star the Lakers have been looking for to pair with James and Davis, that is a lot of money for the soon-to-be 29-year-old that has dealt with a number of injuries throughout his career.

The Bulls are said to covet Austin Reaves in any LaVine deal, which is likely a non-starter for the Lakers, who would prefer to trade some combination of D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura and Gabe Vincent.

LaVine doesn’t really have a ton of suitors, so the Lakers may be able to find a deal that works closer to the deadline, making this something that will be monitored all the way up to Feb. 8.

Lakers prefer to keep depth over making big move

According to other recent reports, the Lakers prefer to hold onto their depth instead of making a big move at the deadline such as trading for LaVine.

That could change if the losses continue to pile up, but for now, the Lakers maintain that they have a roster good enough to contend if everyone is healthy.

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