2. Austin Reaves
If the Lakers want DeMar DeRozan, the Bulls will ask for Austin Reaves. LA will push back, but how hard? Is Reaves a non-starter in trade talks? How are the Lakers valuing him? Reaves signed a four-year $53.8 million deal in the offseason but struggled to begin the year. His production has bounced back, but is the 25-year-old a potential third star or more of a solid starter who works best as a secondary creator and tertiary scorer?
LeBron James turns 39 later this month. Los Angeles has to be all-in if they want to win another championship with the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. That could mean trading Reaves for an immediate upgrade before the deadline. The Lakers would want the Bulls to include Alex Caruso, but the trade could come together quickly if they are willing to discuss Reaves.
Chicago would not want to make the 25-year-old their top scorer immediately. The Bulls need talent around him to maximize his production. Austin Reaves struggles on the defensive end but would be a strong scorer, shooter, and playmaker for the start of their rebuild in the Windy City.
Bulls fans should not expect the Lakers to trade Austin Reaves. He is a developing player on a plus contract. It should not stop the Bulls from asking, though.