Zach LaVine got dislodged from his spot in the Chicago Bulls hierarchy, and he might be looking for a new home. The L.A. Lakers need another star to run with Anthony Davis and LeBron James. They desperately need each other, and LaVine's answer to rumors should get fans' hopes up.
"Always been a big fan"
When DeMar DeRozan arrived in Chicago, fans believed they finally had a star to complement Zach LaVine. However, as it turned out, the high-flyer would become a Robin to DeRozan's Batman. The rumors started to circulate that Zach might be looking for a new home, and the Purple and Gold fans hope the athletic forward looks their way.
When asked what he thinks of the rumors linking him to a move to L.A. in an ambush interview, LaVine answered something that could make Lakers fans happy and excited.
Zach played for UCLA in college, and his game fits the crown in L.A. He would surely improve his brand image and get deals and endorsements playing in one of the biggest markets in the NBA. It's a win-win situation for both parties. But Lakers fans need to manage their expectations.
Don't get hopes high yet
Bringing LaVine to the La La Land is more complicated than it suggests. The Lakers need to make room to raise funds to accommodate LaVine, who will be looking for a max deal. Unfortunately, they have little to no assets to offer when it comes to draft picks.
Instead of offering LaVine an extension, the front office decided to build a team around him. They signed DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Nikola Vucevic, and Alex Caruso. The team failed to advance deeper in the postseason, but the roster has not been this loaded in recent years. If Zach decides to test free agency, which he declared he intends to do, and eventually leaves, Chicago has acquired quality players that the team could withstand his departure.
At 27 years old and about to enter his prime years, it's expected the former Slam Dunk champion would be looking for a max deal. Chicago could offer the biggest deal, a 5-year contract worth more than $210 million. If he decides to play elsewhere, the max he could receive is a 4-year, $157 million deal. The Lakers are cap-strapped next season, but weirder things have happened in the NBA. LaVine could only be a Laker if he accepts a smaller deal next year.
One thing Zach's looking for is respect. He paid his dues and gave his all. The Bulls fell short of winning a title this season, but they are on the right track. So for Zach LaVine, he will search for the respect he deserves, even if that means leaving The Windy City.