Would the Bulls trade LaVine to the Lakers?
The most important hurdle that would have to be cleared for this trade to go through is for the team to recognize it’s not going anywhere this season and to decide to move Zach LaVine in a trade. That is unlikely to happen, but it’s not impossible.
If they do make that decision, then we come to evaluating the potential packages available. Trading LaVine probably also involves moving Nikola Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan, or both, so getting a package from the Lakers that doesn’t involve win-now players is probably fine. Those two first-round picks hold a lot of upside. By 2027, LeBron James will be 42 years old, Anthony Davis will be 33 and likely have another two dozen injuries to his ledger, and LaVine’s knees will be 31. Shorting the Lakers makes a lot of sense.
That last point about LaVine’s knees is ultimately why the Bulls might do this trade. He is in the first year of a five-year, $251 million contract, with a fifth-year player option for $48.9 million. He has had multiple knee surgeries and continues to miss time off and on. If the Bulls suspect his knees are ticking time bombs, trading him now while he is healthy might be the right move.
Verdict: In the end, the Bulls probably continue to trick themselves into trying to compete with this core. If they do make the call to shop LaVine, there is a great chance a better trade is out there from a team with more assets, something more akin to what Donovan Mitchell brought back to Utah. So the Bulls probably pass on this one.