The most prominent NBA rumors during the holiday season are circled around Chicago Bulls all-star Zach LaVine. It seems like a matter of time until LaVine is traded from Chicago and the Los Angeles Lakers have been named as one of the potential landing spots for LaVine.
It all makes perfect sense on paper. LaVine is a Klutch Sports client and he has literally said in the past that he would like to play with LeBron James and a dominant big man. The Lakers can make the salaries work after December 15 and LaVine would give the team a big three to rival other teams' big threes.
The Lakers were not the only team mentioned as a potential destination for LaVine. However, that list is already starting to shrink, as the Miami Heat don't actually seem to be interested in a LaVine trade. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald officially killed the idea of LaVine being traded to Miami with his latest report.
"But a person in close contact with the Heat front office said Miami has not been pursuing a trade for him, at least as of now. (I would be surprised if that changes.) And that’s a sensible decision, because of several reasons including future flexibility, finances and duplication with Tyler Herro’s skill set. (The Heat isn’t interested in trading Herro for LaVine.)"
NBA Rumors: Zach LaVine-Lakers trade more likely with the Heat out of the running
The Miami Heat dropping out of the Zach LaVine sweepstakes does not leave very many teams in the running for the two-time all-star. The Heat were named alongside the Lakers and Sacramento Kings as preferred trade destinations for LaVine.
The Lakers' front office is the most likely to get pressured into making this kind of trade as well. There is no denying that Klutch has had influence over the moves the Lakers have made as the team wants to keep LeBron James happy. If LeBron and fellow Klutch client Anthony Davis are pushing for a trade in January then Rob Pelinka may have no other option.
This would be a risky move for the Lakers and one that should concern fans. While LaVine is a household name, he does not really translate to winning. It is never great when an all-star has only made the playoffs once in nine years, especially when over half the league makes the playoffs in the NBA.
Not only that, but LaVine's teams have had negative net ratings when he is on the court in seven of his nine seasons. Box score averages do not tell the entire story and that is the case with LaVine. His numbers may look nice but the Lakers are worried about winning, not numbers.
Los Angeles should have learned its lesson from the Russell Westbrook trade two years ago. If the team did actually learn its lesson then it will stay away from LaVine, even if the odds are seemingly increasing.