The Los Angeles Lakers may currently own the best record in the Western Conference, but they are still highly expected to be active on the market before the 2021 trade deadline. As their rivals get stronger, the Lakers should continue to build around LeBron James and Anthony Davis in order to strengthen their chances of returning to the NBA Finals and defending their throne. In recent months, they have been linked to several superstars who are rumored to be available on the trading block, including veteran shooting guard Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls.
In a recent article, Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis Network named LaVine as the "ideal trade target" to complement the Lakers' superstar duo of James and Davis. LaVine's trade value may not be as high as James Harden and Bradley Beal, but it would still require the Purple and Gold to sacrifice plenty of precious assets to bring him to Los Angeles. In the proposed trade scenario, the Lakers would be sending a package that includes Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Talen Horton-Tucker, a 2022 first-round pick, a 2025 first-round pick, and a 2023 second-round pick to the Bulls in exchange for LaVine.
LaVine hasn't yet officially demanded a trade from the Bulls, but if they suffer another disappointing season, he could follow in the footsteps of other superstars and find his way out of Chicago.
"If the Bulls continue to struggle up to the trade deadline, LaVine could absolutely ask to be traded and the Lakers should try and do everything they can to land the potential All-Star. Not only is Zach LaVine a high-level, All-Star like talent, but he is a player that the Los Angeles Lakers could trade for and keep for many years to come, far after LeBron James retires. LaVine has been a fantastic player over the years for the Chicago Bulls and was a border-line All-Star last year. In 60 games last year, LaVine averaged 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and shot 45% from the floor and 38% from three-point range."
Though it would cost most of their valuable trade assets, bringing LaVine to Los Angeles would make a lot of sense for the Lakers. He would be an upgrade over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at the shooting guard position, and compared to Kuzma, he's more capable of serving as the team's third star behind James and Davis. What makes him a more intriguing addition to the Purple and Gold is his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity, making him the ideal third fiddle for ball-dominant players like LBJ and AD.
If he meshes well with LBJ and AD, the Lakers would form their own "Big Three" that could take down any powerhouse team, including the star-studded Brooklyn Nets, in a best-of-seven series. Also, pairing Davis with another young superstar would help the Purple and Gold keep their title contender status even after LeBron James retires.