Lakers reportedly leaning towards DeMar DeRozan in trade priority over Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso

Zach LaVine, who joined the NBA after he was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, had been linked with the LA Lakers in a trade rumor lately. LaVine, a two-time All-Star, has been remarkable since joining the Chicago Bulls. He has earned great recognition in the league as an elite player and is expected to receive substantial pay going forward.

Despite the impressive marks and achievements LaVine has earned while playing for the Bulls, it is shocking that recent reports claim the Lakers prioritized trading for his Bulls teammate in the wake of Zack LaVine and Alex Caruso transfer rumors to the Lakers.

DeRozan tops Lakers’ wishlist in preference over LaVine and Caruso

Following a return from the NBA in-season tournament, the LA Lakers are continuing from where they stopped in the regular season with a 15-11 record. This seems to be below their aim to begin the season strongly. While LeBron James and Anthony Davis have performed exceptionally, there are lingering uncertainties about the supporting cast as the New Year approaches.

The Lakers have been reportedly shifting interest to DeMar DeRozan in trade in the expense of Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso
Lakers Via Getty

Despite the team’s situation, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka has refrained from discussing potential moves openly. However, it’s widely known that he has a keen interest in acquiring a specific veteran swingman from Chicago. According to Jovan Buha, the Laker’s top interest is DeMar DeRozan over LaVine and Caruso due to his contract situations. The Lakers, especially after the challenging Russell Westbrook trade, prioritized year-to-year flexibility over committing to long-term salaries since 2020.

The team’s strategic approach revolves around maintaining financial flexibility while seeking to enhance their roster with experienced players, hoping to address current challenges and bolster their campaign in the coming months. Jovan Buha of The Athletic wrote, “LaVine, meanwhile, represents a significant commitment for a player who’s been a borderline All-Star at best.” DeRozan is a better fit for the Lakers on the court compared to LaVine or Caruso.

The significant contrast lies in their contract values, with Zach set to earn over $80 million in the next two seasons. Considering the Lakers already have financial commitments to two max-level superstars, it seems prudent to steer clear of investing such a substantial amount in a player like LaVine, particularly given his one-sided playing style. However, the team appears to be prioritizing financial flexibility while seeking players who can contribute across various facets of the game.

Rich Paul denies Lakers connection in Zach LaVine trade talks

The speculation surrounding Zach LaVine’s potential trade to the Los Angeles Lakers has been ongoing for a while. However, his agent has clarified that the Chicago Bulls star’s options are not restricted or specifically focused on any particular team, including the Lakers.

The Lakers have been reportedly shifting interest to DeMar DeRozan in trade in the expense of Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso
Lakers Via Getty

Paul told Sam Amick of The Athletic, “It’s not one team,” while reacting to the Lakers trade rumor. “I don’t have a specific destination for Zach. I want what’s best for Zach and his family. When you have a guy playing the game, you want him to be able to play the game happy, whether that’s in Chicago or somewhere else.”

Previously, a report from the Chicago Sun-Times hinted at a possible link between Zach LaVine and the Lakers due to their shared connection with Klutch Sports. Klutch Sports represents four Lakers players, including star players LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Rich Paul, the head of Klutch Sports, highlighted the agency’s presence across 24 out of the 30 NBA teams.

On November 14, The Athletic reported that the Chicago Bulls and LaVine were becoming more receptive to trade options. However, Paul emphasized that a conclusive decision has not been reached yet. This report allows other NBA franchises to explore the availability of adding a unique talent Zack LaVine to their roster.

Shariare Hasib

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Shariare Hasib is an NBA Editor at SportsKnot. With a master's degree in journalism from a prestigious university, Shariare started writing about the sport during his undergraduate years. Since then, he has been fascinated by LeBron James' lasting impact as well as Stephen Curry's incredible consistency. He specializes in live basketball coverage. Apart from reporting on trade speculations and match updates during off-season activities, Shariare frequently interacts with fan communities to stay abreast of the constantly evolving NBA scene.


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