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The Los Angeles Lakers have been desperate to complete a trade as they continually fall short of the Western Conference standard through their first 21 games of the season.
Sitting at 9-12 with a clunky roster, LeBron James, the Lakers and general manager Rob Pelinka are looking for a third All-Star to elevate the team.
It turns out the Chicago Bulls may be the team to step in and help as LA reportedly builds a trade offer to propose to Bulls general manager Mike Eversley.
Can DeRozan Save the Lakers?
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Lakers are discussing with Chicago on a potential trade involving guard Russell Westbrook and two of their remaining trade-eligible first-round picks (2027, 2029) for five-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan. Chicago’s package may also potentially include center Nikola Vucevic.
The teams have not been in contact regarding an official trade yet.
DeRozan, known for being a mid-range assassin, is having a solid year without the help of a broken Chicago backcourt. The 6-foot-6 small forward is averaging 25.8 points, 4.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds.
The Bulls have lacked firepower as ex-Laker Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine struggle with injuries.
Vucevic, on the other hand, could be a tremendous presence in the paint for the Lakers defense as the team continues to be limited by inexperience or inept fits at the 5.
The Lakers have been giving All-Star Anthony Davis a fair share of minutes at the center position, but AD’s injury concerns and penchant for scoring have given Lakers fans and head coach Darvin Ham hesitance in depending on him as a true big man.
Westbrook, whose nearly $40 million per year salary continues to ail the Lakers’ front office, has been effective coming off the bench; though on a team with scoring troubles, he hasn’t been much of a remedy. The 34-year-old is averaging 15.0 points on a 40.5 field goal percentage.
Could this be the trade capable of turning the team’s fortunes around?
Don’t count on it … the Lakers and Pelinka always manage to fumble away prospects of a real deal.