Grade the trade: Lakers land DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso in blockbuster pitch

Utah Jazz v Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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What a Lakers trade for Alex Caruso and DeMar DeRozan would look like:

It is actually cheaper salary-wise to trade for DeRozan and Caruso than it would be to trade for LaVine. LaVine is making $40 million this season while this combination of players is making $38 million. Since the money is so close either way, the Lakers can construct a similar trade for Caruso and DeRozan that they would for LaVine.

DeRozan/Caruso right

Picks-wise, this trade sees the Lakers trading one unprotected first-round pick, one pick swap and a second-round pick as the icing on the cake. It is going to take at least one unprotected first to make this happen and the soonest the Lakers can trade an unprotected first is 2029.

However, the team can still trade a pick swap for 2026 as they would be getting a first-round pick in return. There can also be a contingency in the pick that the Bulls have the choice to swap but if they refuse it, it rolls over to 2028. That would sweeten the deal for Chicago and give the team more control.

Player-wise, the Lakers would have to package Rui Hachimura and D'Angelo Russell simply to make the money work. Chicago would likely ask for Austin Reaves instead of one of those two but the Lakers won't trade Reaves in this kind of package.

Jalen Hood-Schifino is thrown in the deal as a young player who was just drafted right outside the lottery in the 2023 NBA Draft. This would give Chicago a young guard to develop for the future, essentially giving the team another first in the process.

Now let's dive into the grades.