Zach LaVine will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He made the headlines a few months ago when he admitted that he's always been a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. LaVine's comment could have meant nothing at all, but fans of the Purple and Gold took it as gospel. An NBA executive revealed that there might be one way for this to actually happen.
The Western Conference executive prefaced his analysis by pointing out that everyone knows of LaVine's wish to don the Purple and Gold. The most feasible way that LaVine goes to L.A. is if Rob Pelinka decides to place Anthony Davis — a Chicago native — on the trade block. This is an attractive predicament that the Chicago Bulls front office needs to take seriously.
"Zach would like to be in L.A. He wants to be a Laker. That's not really a secret. But the roster just is not going to allow for it. The Bulls have a soft spot for Anthony Davis, he is a Chicago guy, that goes up to the ownership. If the Lakers put a swap of AD and LaVine on the table, sure, the Bulls have to look at that," the executive said, per Heavy.
LaVine admitted that he's up to testing the free agency this summer. Rumors say he wants his own team. Amid the Bulls' relative success, LaVine didn't seem pleased being the second option to DeMar DeRozan.
The executive predicts LaVine is going back to Chicago this offseason. But this doesn't mean that his wish to become a Laker will never be granted.
"But LaVine, everything points to him going back and signing on with Chicago, getting paid. Give it a year or so and if things don't keep moving forward with the Bulls, then you could start having him pushing for a Lakers trade. The Lakers will be off of Westbrook's contract, they will have more flexibility," the executive said.
Does LaVine fit with LeBron?
LaVine's desire to become a Laker vis-a-vis his craving to be the first option is a bit confusing. Whether or not they trade him for Davis or manage to sign him, LeBron James will always take center stage.
But forgetting such complications for a minute, LaVine seems a perfect fit for a James-led team. As for one, James needs a lethal shooter around him to maximize his playmaking talent. LaVine shot a pretty decent 38.9% from deep last season. In catch-and-shoot situations, he shot a deadly 46.0% from downtown.
Apart from swishing the net from deep, let's not forget LaVine's athletic prowess. Before he developed the skill of creating his shots, LaVine started as a young slasher with a knack for spotting openings. This is a perfect complement to James' playstyle. Think of the Dwyane Wade-LeBron James connections back in Miami.
Everything is a matter of wait-and-see at this point. Free agency can be a bit unpredictable. There are no indications the Lakers will let go of Davis unless James is still around. At the same time, Davis' injury-prone body has caused many headaches for the front office.
Seems wild, but crazier things have happened in the NBA.