It did not take long in the 2023-24 season for a superstar to hit the trade block. While nothing is official yet, speculation of an eventual Zach LaVine trade is running rampant due to a Shams Charania report that both sides (LaVine and the Chicago Bulls) have increased openness to getting a deal done. Naturally, the Los Angeles Lakers quickly entered the conversation.
This conversation is different, however. This is not another example of a random superstar being loosely tied to the Lakers simply because they are the Lakers. This is a star with legitimate ties to Los Angeles who has not been shy in the past about his desire to play with LeBron James.
Los Angeles cannot make any kind of trade for LaVine until mid-December at the earliest. This gives LaVine plenty of time to try and influence where he will be traded. LaVine is not wasting any time, as he is already doing everything in his power to hint as his desire to join the Lake Show.
How Zach Lavine is essentially telling the world that he wants to join the Lakers:
First, let’s start with LaVine’s very specific headwear choice after the Bulls’ loss on Wednesday. An LA hat after all of the rumors that have been swirling? That seems oddly specific.
Look, does it seem a bit trivial to go on about someone’s hat choice after a game? Sure. But these guys know what they are doing. Superstar athletes, especially in the NBA, are calculated. They send out little signals and shots to the media in any way possible.
LaVine knows all of the noise right now and he knew that if he specifically chose to wear that hat right now it would cause a stir. So why did he do it?
LaVine wanted that stir to happen. He wanted the conversation of him joining the Los Angeles Lakers to continue. Why? Because the more it is in the air the more buzz it will create, and the more buzz it creates the more external noise the Lakers will hear, and the more external noise the Lakers will hear will only make Klutch Sports’ case stronger when LeBron and Anthony Davis naturally push to trade for LaVine.
Welcome to NBA Media 101. Class is in session.
This is not the only trick up Klutch’s sleeve, either. One day before purposefully wearing an LA hat for a post-game interview, LaVine showed up with Rich Paul to the Kentucky-Kansas game sporting matching Klutch hoodies.
Is this an opportunity to represent the brand? Sure. But once again, Paul and LaVine are not being subtle here. The decision to specifically show up to this game wearing Klutch gear, together, right after the Shams report dropped about a potential LaVine trade?
That is as intentional as it comes.
Klutch Sports is dominating the conversation, and it is no secret that it is trying to lead the conversation to Los Angeles, where Klutch’s most prolific client already plays. LaVine wants to be a Laker. Now it is just a matter of time to see if this subtle campaign forces the Lakers to want him.