It is the NBA's worst-kept secret that the Bulls have Zach LaVine on the trade market.
Now that we are past the Dec. 15 date, players such as D’Angelo Russell, who signed in the offseason, can be traded. This means most players in the NBA can now be moved and the conversations about trades move from speculative to possible.
When there's smoke, there's fire, and while many are interested in the Bulls guard along with their other key players, Sam Amick of The Athletic reports that the Lakers aren't interested in a trade that requires Austin Reaves.
“For the Lakers, who are also known to have interest in the Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso, a conversation with Chicago is likely to include a request for Austin Reaves (who isn’t eligible to be traded until Jan. 15). But by all indications, the Lakers remain as committed to Reaves as they were when they gave him a four-year, $56 million deal last summer.”
It may perplex fans of other teams that the Lakers would not move a current bench player for an all-star guard, but their belief in Austin Reaves has never wavered. Even last season, when the Lakers were consistently linked with Kyrie Irving, it was clear the team wouldn't package Reaves in a deal.
So, for those interested in using Reaves' salary to help match LaVine's, it looks like you can take him out of the NBA Trade Machine.
Not only is Los Angeles not interested, but a trade can't happen using Reaves until Jan. 15. Giving any other team a month-long head start in negotiations for an acceptable package. So, if the Lakers want LaVine and refuse to add Reaves, they'll need to get creative and focus on the players they are willing to move.
LaVine is flawed, but he fits one of the three types of players the Lakers need to acquire to get to that next level. The question is, can Rob Pelinka make such a move without ruining the things about this team that are already good, like Reaves, or will he ultimately have to budge to attain such a star player?
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.