Lakers

Lakers Rumors: Insider Proposes Blockbuster Trade To Bring Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball Back To LA

It’s an immediate upgrade, but does it return the Lakers to contention?

As currently comprised, your 25-29 Los Angeles Lakers continue to find themselves on the outside of the Western Conference play-in picture looking in. But that doesn’t need to be the case all year. With the trade deadline fast approaching (it’s this Thursday at noon PT), LA has a few primo assets with which it can make moves to upgrade its current roster around All-Star power forward LeBron James and max-salaried big man Anthony Davis.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks, one of the foremost “capologists” in the league media landscape, has cooked up an intriguing potential deal that could send the Lakers a young All-Star, in his ostensible prime, plus a certain injury-prone, high-upside young point guard with whom Los Angeles All-Star power forward LeBron James is quite familiar.

In the proposed deal, the Lakers would send out the expiring contracts of semi-washed up 34-year-old guards Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley (totaling $60.1 million), rookie shooting guard Max Christie, and both its two tradable future first-round picks (in 2027 and 2029) to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for two-time All-Star shooting guard Zach LaVine, his fellow UCLA alum (and ex-Laker) Lonzo Ball, and defensive-minded forward Javonte Green.

Ball and Green remain shelved for Chicago at present, as they each continue to recuperate from knee scopes. When healthy, they would both greatly enhance the Lakers’ perimeter defense. Both are solid three-point shooters, though Ball is elite at this skill (last season, he shot 42.3% on a high-volume 7.4 triple tries a night), while Green is a bit more erratic and takes most of his threes off the catch. Of course, Ball may not suit up again this season, as he continues to struggle with pain management even after two knee surgeries. Green’s status is similarly murky, though he could return later this year.

LaVine would be the headliner. He too has somewhat balky, surgically-enhanced knees, but when healthy, he is an elite scorer both from outside and around the rim (though he doesn’t get to the foul line much). He’s not much of a defender, but his offensive contributions are so high-level he may well be worth the investment to help extend the Lakers’ title window.

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