Products You May Like
The Los Angeles Lakers are exploring all sorts of trade options and a new, multi-player blockbuster rumor has emerged as a possibility.
Since early in the offseason we had heard the idea of the Los Angeles Lakers trading Russell Westbrook and their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to the Indiana Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. It hasn’t happened yet, for a variety of reasons, and at this point, it seems unlikely that either side would agree to it.
However, the framework of another deal has emerged that could net the Lakers a pair of former All-Stars, both of whom could be better fits than Westbrook, for roughly the same package.
The Chicago Bulls may be forced into becoming trade deadline sellers and both Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report and Jake Fischer of Yahoo have reported the Lakers sniffing around DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic.
From Pincus: “The Lakers have interest in DeMar DeRozan and Vučević, likely for two future first-round picks (and Westbrook). It’s unclear if L.A. would also want to bring back Alex Caruso.”
From Fischer: “A player like Zach LaVine would satisfy Los Angeles’ dreamiest returns for the two future first-round picks Rob Pelinka’s front office has left in its stable, although the murmured idea of flipping Russell Westbrook for Vucevic and DeRozan would appear a far more realistic outcome if Chicago does ultimately pivot from its postseason aspirations.”
How would DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic fit on the Lakers?
It’s not clear if the long-rumored Pacers deal — Myles Turner and Buddy Hield for Russell Westbrook and two future first-round picks — is even still on the table, but DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic definitely provide a different look.
Making this deal with the Bulls doesn’t give the Lakers an elite interior defensive presence or an elite movement shooter but it adds a lot more offensive versatility to their lineup. Vucevic’s 3-point shooting has bounced back this season and he’s making 36.1 percent from beyond the arc. He’s also a solid passer from the middle of the floor and the elbows and could theoretically work next to Anthony Davis in short stints but also help anchor a second-unit offense.
As a ball-dominant shot-creator, DeRozan doesn’t make a ton of sense next to LeBron but he’s a much more efficient creator to lead second-unit offenses with LeBron off the floor and still likely has more experience and value playing off the ball with another creator than Westbrook does.
Check out The Step Back for more news, analysis, opinion and unique basketball coverage. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to our daily email newsletter, The Whiteboard.