What would an NBA offseason without the Lakers recklessly linked to a free agent they can’t conceivably land?
The Lakers are heading into the offseason with lots of uncertainty and in need of a roster shakeup after missing out on the play-in game. But the least likely of ways that shakeup may come would be through free agency due to the Lakers having a large fortune tied up in the trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.
However, logic has never stood in the way of a great rumor and dozens of photoshops on Twitter. And it certainly has never stood in the way of LaVar Ball.
It was Ball who sparked the latest flame that has grown into a small campfire by suggesting that Zach LaVine’s time was up in Chicago because he was tired of playing second fiddle to DeMar DeRozan. He also stated that LaVine would return to where he played his college ball and play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
LaVine took that campfire and dumped some gasoline on it on Monday when TMZ spotted him back in Los Angeles. As TMZ does, LaVine was peppered with questions about his future and the connection to the Lakers and while he held out for a while, his final words before getting into his car and shutting his door was more than enough as he said “I’ve always been a big fan” in reference to the purple and gold.
Again, it’s very important to note that it is near impossible for the Lakers to even legally acquire LaVine, let alone realistically. One of the avenues is a sign-and-trade with one of the players on the roster for the Lakers, but the only ones who could conceivably work financially would be LeBron, AD or Russ.
You aren’t trading either of the first two, which only leaves Russ. Now, I implore you, find a trade that includes sending out Russ and acquiring LaVine that both teams would sign off on. It would almost certainly have to be some sort of a three-team deal and immediately it becomes a very tricky and unlikely proposition.
The Lakers simply do not have the assets available, either in terms of contracts to aggregate or draft capital or young players to sweeten the deal, to acquire a player like LaVine. Those are the consequences of going all-in on a trade for AD and compiling all the contracts they did to acquire Russ.
So, for however much LaVar Ball or LaVine may want to be a Laker, right now, it feels very, very unlikely. But that wouldn’t, and hopefully won’t, stop the photoshops from flooding social media.