Lakers grade for this Zach LaVine trade: C+
There are worse three-for-one trades that the Lakers could make at the deadline. The Russell Westbrook trade has scarred Lakers fans, and rightfully so, but this would not be as bad as that.
To be clear, there are aspects of LaVine’s game that are concerning. He is not the healthiest all-star and he is never someone who is going to be the second-best player on a title team. In a lot of ways, he is similar to Bradley Beal, who was just traded to pennies.
The Lakers have to trade more in this theorized trade as LaVine doesn’t have the luxury of a no-trade clause like Beal had. With no leverage, the Wizards were happy just to get off of Beal’s contract. That is not fully the case here with LaVine and the Bulls.
If LeBron leaves after the 2023-24 season then the Lakers will be just fine with the tax apron and can adjust in the future. The team would be giving up another first-round pick but LA would still have picks to utilize. Between 2024 and 2030 the Lakers would still have the rights to four of their seven first-round picks.
If the Lakers truly want to go all-in then this could be the move. After all, a playoff starting five of LaVine, Austin Reaves, Jarred Vanderbilt, LeBron James and Anthony Davis with a bench unit headlined by Gabe Vincent and Taurean Prince is pretty exciting.
Bulls trade for this Zach LaVine trade: C+
This is one of those rare trades where both teams get a passing grade but it is not incredible for either party. Chicago gets to move off of LaVine’s deal and gets some solid role players to flip for more assets but that is about it.
Bulls fans would argue that LaVine is worth far more but the Beal trade would indicate otherwise. The market of teams willing to trade for multiple years of a high salary for a player who has to be the third option is small.
In a perfect world could the Bulls get more from a desperate team? Absolutely. Does that perfect world exist? It doesn’t appear so.