The Los Angeles Lakers surprised many people around the league last week when they pulled off an impressive trade for Rui Hachimura.
A lot of folks expected L.A. to have an underwhelming NBA Trade Deadline run akin to how their season has been going, but Rob Pelinka and Co. seem unexpectedly active.
So what’s next for the Lakers?
The biggest star the organization has been linked to in recent days is Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls.
Recently, Zach Lowe of ESPN proposed a deal that would essentially get all parties involved what they want.
Zach Lowe’s trade idea during the most recent episode of his podcast
⁃ Zach Lavine
⁃ Russell Westbrook
⁃ two 1st round draft picks (“one unprotected and the second one has the most limited possible protections that’s allowable under NBA rules”)
— The Lakers Review (@TheLakersReview) January 25, 2023
Los Angeles has obviously been coveting its two remaining first rounders in this decade, but LaVine may be the sort of star you finally splurge them on.
“One [pick would be] unprotected and the second one has the most limited possible protections that’s allowable under NBA rules,” the NBA insider posited.
It is something of an open secret around the league that LaVine really wants to go to the Lakers. He re-signed with the Bulls last summer because they were the only team that would pay him crazy money, but lingering beefs have soured the relationship.
The big question is whether Chicago really values a package of Westbrook and two first-rounders. Especially if one of the picks is heavily protected.
By all accounts, aside from the Lakers, two other NBA teams have very legit interest in LaVine.
And if the New York Knicks were prepared to give up what they offered the Toronto Raptors for O.G. Anunoby, maybe they will present a similar proposal to the Bulls for LaVine.
Emily’s outfit makes it clear where Baker wants to play next year. https://t.co/8m0Z786W7L
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 27, 2023
Either way, it appears as though LaVine is the biggest player available ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline.
Will he be wearing a Laker uniform come Feb. 10? Time will tell.