With the Lakers facing off against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, talk has continued regarding a potential trade between the two franchises.
It's been no secret the Lakers are interested in several Chicago Bulls players, and with one of those players being all-star Zach LaVine, a combination of his star power, roots in Southern California, and his relationship with Klutch Sports has only increased that excitement and speculation.
However, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers feel a LaVine trade helps Chicago more than benefits L.A.
For LaVine specifically, I think the Lakers would consider a D’Angelo Russell-centric deal, but I don’t think they’d throw in much more than a combination of salary filler (Rui Hachimura and/or Gabe Vincent), a young prospect (Max Christie or Jalen Hood-Schifino) and a protected pick (2029 or 2030 first rounder). The Lakers would fight to keep Hachimura and Christie, to be clear. But I see that offer on the high end of what they’d be willing to give up.
Even so, I don’t think they’d want to bid against themselves and would need another suitor to up their offer to more than a minimum package. They feel like they would be doing the Bulls a favor by clearing LaVine’s salary off their books and kickstarting a rebuild if the Bulls ultimately go in that direction.
It's been reported that the Lakers will take a patient approach this trade season. This was the Lakers' method last year as well, waiting to trade Russell Westbrook away until late to get the best deal possible. That patience was rewarded with a multitude of quality rotation players that helped turn the season around and put the Lakers back in contention.
Sometimes, the best activity is inactivity.
The Lakers shouldn't give everything away for a player who is talented but flawed, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Also, the move has to make sense and improve the Lakers' chances of winning a title. If you give too much of what works away, i.e., the Westbrook trade, any benefit you get with a player gets nerfed by what was lost.
Trades are a balancing act where both parties must come away happy with what they're getting to strike a deal.
Rob Pelinka has had his hits and misses in this department during his Lakers tenure, but this might be his most important one yet as a wrong move could end LeBron James' championship window in L.A., but the right one will put them one step closer to banner 18.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.