The Los Angeles Lakers are back to .500 with a 23-23 record after defeating the Chicago Bulls 141-132 behind the eight made threes from D’Angelo Russell. Russell had an excellent game posting 29 points while shooting 10-18 from the field and over 60 percent from beyond the arc. Lebron and Anthony Davis contributed to the winning effort by both having 20-point double-doubles. Russell this season has averaged 16 points per game on 48 percent shooting from the field however D’Lo has been on a heater over the past 10 games averaging 23.5 points while shooting over 50 percent from the field and 48 percent from the three-point line. This highly efficient scoring production makes him a valuable asset to move for Los Angeles with a potential destination being the team the Lakers just beat.
The Chicago Bulls are currently 21-25, the ninth seed in the East. While this would get Chicago to the Play-in Tournament if seeding held Chicago may want to go in another direction. There have already been reports that Chicago is looking to deal LaVine and potentially move on from former Lakers guard Alex Caruso and All-Star Demar DeRozan. Several playoff teams out west would most likely have interest in Andre Drummond as well for another body to throw at the two time MVP Nikola Jokic.
Potential Trade: Zack LaVine to Lakers For D’Angelo Russell
The first trade idea between the two teams would send LaVine and Drummond to the Lakers in return for D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, who is rumored “could be dealt”, Jalen-Hood Schifino, and a future first-round pick. LaVine so far this season in 25 games has averaged 20 points per game on 45/35/85 percent shooting splits. LaVine would be an instant upgrade over Russell in the starting unit. This trade for Chicago would get LaVine’s nearly 130 million dollar contract with a player option in 2026 off the books while adding young talented players on more reasonable deals such as Hachimura who will make 51 million over the next three seasons.
“What-If” Trade: DeRozan and Lowry Reunion
The most interesting “what-if” trade scenario could reunite Kyle Lowry with his former teammate and Los Angeles native Demar DeRozan. As stated in a recent report by Athletic Kyle Lowry is considered a “name to watch” for the Lakers if he receives a buyout from the Charlotte Hornets. Luckily for the Lakers due to the new CBA rules, there are seven contending teams unable to sign Lowry. The two veterans would make sense with a win-now Lakers team that already has an aging superstar in Lebron James. Similar to the LaVine trade the Lakers would send D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, Jalen-Hood Schifino, a future first-round pick, and pick swaps for Demar DeRozan and Lakers fan-favorite Alex Caruso. The Lakers would give up almost all of their assets in young players and offseason trade opportunities but would add the two stand-out Bulls players and Kyle Lowry from the buyout market, assuming that is the direction the Hornets take with Lowry.
The difficulty in getting these trades done will be the Lakers’ unwillingness to include undrafted up-and-comer Austin Reaves, the lack of draft capital, and the Chicago Bulls’ ultimately demanding too much in return. As can be seen with the current LaVine and Detroit trade rumors falling through. The Chicago Bulls have only made one trade since August of 2021 when the team traded for Demar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Derrick Jones Jr. This trade for Chicago sent two second round picks to Washington for Julian Phillips. Lonzo Ball has not played a game for the Bulls since January 14, 2022, while Derrick Jones Jr signed with the Mavericks leaving Chicago with nothing in return and the same could happen to Chicago with an even more valuable asset in former All-Star Demar DeRozen who will be a unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2023-2024 NBA season.