Coming into this season, there was belief that Austin Reaves would take another leap to All-Star level for the Los Angeles Lakers. While there have been some excellent moments, that hasn’t quite happened for Reaves and with the team being pretty up-and-down so far, there have been rumors about the Lakers looking to make a trade with Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine being someone the team is interested in.
While LaVine’s numbers are down across the board so far this season, his talent is undeniable and the former two-time All-Star would be a huge boost should the Lakers be able to acquire him. As for what it would take to get such a deal done, that is unknown, but the front office apparently has a line it’s not willing to cross.
According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers have no interest in including Reaves in any potential LaVine deal:
The Lakers aren’t interested in including Reaves in a potential LaVine deal despite his recent move to the bench, according to multiple team sources.
The Lakers clearly still see Reaves as an extremely valuable member of the team despite his early-season struggles. And with him being untouchable, Buha would note that a potential deal would almost definitely involve D’Angelo Russell as well as either Rui Hachimura or Gabe Vincent and some draft compensation:
The most likely framework of a LaVine deal would center around Russell, who waived his implied no-trade clause over the offseason. It’d also need to feature Hachimura or Vincent as additional matching salary, another player and either the team’s 2029 or 2030 first-round pick – potentially with protections. (It cannot include both due to the restrictions of the Stepien rule). The Lakers would prefer to expand a theoretical trade to include Caruso, in the scenario that he’s eventually made available. One complication in that case is that the Lakers do not have many available first-round picks left to trade, though they could insert another pick swap (the first-round pick they don’t send between 2029 and 2030) and have four second-round picks available to trade.
Russell’s name being floated in rumors is nothing new as that has been the case for basically his entire career. The point guard waiving that no-trade clause when re-signing with the Lakers this summer all but assured the rumors would continue throughout the trade deadline.
A player like LaVine would greatly raise the Lakers’ ceiling, but the Lakers will only look to make a move for the right price and Reaves is too big a price to pay in their eyes.
Lakers also interested in DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso if Bulls make them available
LaVine isn’t the only Bulls player the Lakers reportedly have interest in. He is the main name Chicago is open to shopping, but should DeMar DeRozan or Alex Caruso be made available, the Lakers would also reportedly be interested as well.
It is unclear what the price would be for either, or if the Lakers could pull of some kind of trade for two of the three players, but the front office is clearly eyeing the Bulls in case they choose to blow things up.
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