Zach LaVine Rumors: Lakers, Heat, Sixers, DeRozan, More

The Lakers, Heat, and Sixers are among the teams expected to have a “level of interest” in Bulls guard Zach LaVine, Shams Charania of The Athletic said during an appearance on The Rally (Twitter video link). Charania reported on Tuesday that the Bulls and LaVine have become increasingly open to exploring the possibility of a trade after Chicago got off to another slow start this season.

The Lakers’ big three experiment with Russell Westbrook alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis didn’t work well, with the team eventually moving off Westbrook in favor of reliable depth around its two superstars. It’s unclear how eager Los Angeles would be to sacrifice some of that depth to bring in another ball-dominant, offensive-minded guard like LaVine.

The Heat, meanwhile, were linked to Damian Lillard for much of the offseason and would perhaps view LaVine as an intriguing alternative, though he’s not the play-maker that Dame is. As for the Sixers, the belief is that they want to turn some of the assets they received for James Harden into another impact player, but the emergence of Tyrese Maxey has lessened the need for another guard. A report on Tuesday downplayed Philadelphia’s interest in LaVine.

In addition to monitoring LaVine, teams around the NBA are keeping an eye on DeMar DeRozan in case the Bulls decide to make him available as well, according to Charania.

“The sense around the league is whether it’s LaVine or DeRozan or both, there could be movement in Chicago sooner than later,” Charania said.

Here’s more on LaVine:

  • The Lakers are among five destinations that Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype believes make sense for LaVine, but his other four suggestions are teams not mentioned by Charania: the Magic, Pistons, Hornets, and Mavericks. Dallas may not be an ideal fit for LaVine after adding Kyrie Irving earlier this year, but the Mavs have reportedly had interest in the Bulls guard in the past, Gozlan notes.
  • In a mailbag for The Athletic, Kelly Iko makes the case that the Grizzlies would be an ideal fit for LaVine, contending that pairing him with Desmond Bane on the wing would help the team in the short term and open up space for Ja Morant to operate when he returns from his suspension.
  • Steve Popper of Newsday doesn’t view the Knicks as a likely suitor for LaVine, suggesting that it wouldn’t make sense to give up RJ Barrett as part of a larger package for the Bulls guard, since LaVine is five years older, significantly more expensive, and has been more injury-prone.
  • As good as LaVine has been as a scorer in recent years, his best hasn’t been good enough for the Bulls, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic, who suggests that it might be in both sides’ best interest to go in a new direction.
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