The NBA trade deadline is less than a month away and negotiations between teams should heat up as numerous players are finally eligible to be traded.
Jan. 15 marked the first day that several players who signed in free agency are able to be included in trades, opening up more avenues for player movement. In the case of the Los Angeles Lakers, the team is able to trade away contracts like D’Angelo Russell should they find a trade.
The Lakers are in desperate need of a move as the team has been mired in a rut since winning the NBA In-Season Tournament. There have been troubling signs on both ends of the floor and now Los Angeles is hardly a lock to even make the Play-In Tournament.
The purple and gold have been linked to star players like Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, but ESPN’s Brian Windhorst believes there’s a chance that the Lakers trade for the former All-Star via The Hoops Collective podcast:
“I think there is a zero percent chance of the Lakers trading for Zach LaVine,” Windhorst said. “Zero. Zero.”
Windhorst’s comments are in line with previous reports that said Los Angeles and Chicago have no momentum toward a LaVine trade. LaVine is only in year two of his five-year deal and is owed almost $140 million after this season.
While LaVine’s scoring and athleticism would be a major boost to the Lakers’ offense, having to get rid of multiple contracts just to land him doesn’t seem worth it. The Bulls would also ask for draft compensation and young talent like Austin Reaves, but the purple and gold shouldn’t have to give up too many things of value considering how much long-term money they would be taking on.
If L.A. continues to lose games at their current pace, then perhaps their stance will soften. However, it feels like the most likely way that LaVine winds up in southern California is if the cost to acquire him comes down considerably.
Lakers reportedly seeking guard with speed and quickness at NBA trade deadline
With Gabe Vincent out for at least one more month, Los Angeles could use help in their backcourt. Reaves and Russell are back to starting, but the Lakers could use an upgrade at one of the guard spots.
The team is reportedly seeking a guard with speed and quickness and someone like LaVine fits the bill. Dejounte Murray also fits that description, though what it might take to acquire him seems too steep for the Lakers.
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