The Los Angeles Lakers are out of the postseason and the front office is already gearing up for new challenges. Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss are probably looking for ways to improve the roster. Some players are on their way out. Who will be the first player to join purple and gold? The Lakers can easily pull out huge blockbuster trade moves this offseason and NBA experts have several suggestions.
Zach Buckley from Bleacher Report has three suggestions. Kyrie Irving is the first one, followed by Buddy Hield, and Zach LaVine. Irving has been linked to the Lakers for a really long time, but LaVine seems to be a common name in trade rumors.
“If L.A. could snag a top-shelf target like Zach LaVine this summer, that’s the kind of move that could mold this team from a super-long-shot championship hopeful into a legitimate title contender,” Buckley wrote on May 22, 2023. “And it hardly feels impossible. The Bulls might be ready to rebuild after investing heavily in this core and seeing zero return on that investment, and that process would grow exponentially easier without LaVine. It’s hard to bottom out as long as he’s on the roster, and it’s hard to gain financial flexibility with his massive money on the books.”
Pelinka has a few great players on his roster, but he won’t make a move to get rid of his star players. LaVine inked a five-year deal with the Chicago Bulls and has four years left on his deal. In the 2022-23 NBA season, the talented player averaged 24.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists while going 37.5% from long range in 77 starts with the team.
Lakers have at least one real blockbuster trade scenario on the table
The Lakers have to make decisions regarding their free agents first. Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, and Dennis Schroder will enter the open market this summer. Some of them will probably put on a different jersey in 2023, leaving enough room for LaVine.
“Rui is a tough call and they could give him a short deal, a make-good kind of offer,” the league exec said at the time. “He wanted something around $15 million per year or more and there is just no way to justify that. But Mo Bamba, he is a guy to look at around the draft. They probably will guarantee him even though he is not playing all that much and look to bring in a first-round pick in a trade.
“Max Christie, too, he has been impressive early on, if he can fill in, he has a lot of 3-and-D potential. He could be a trade chip if there is a star available around the draft, you could imagine him and Bamba as part of a package for Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan if the Bulls wanted to go that route.”