NBA Rumors: Zach LaVine To Lakers, Russell Westbrook To Knicks In Suggested Three-Team Trade Involving Bulls

Zach LaVine playing in the All-Star Game
Wikimedia | Tm

JB Baruelo

Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine is expected to be one of the most coveted players on the free agency market in the 2022 NBA offseason. After establishing an impressive performance in his first five years in Windy City, the Bulls will do everything they can to bring LaVine back this summer. However, though he hasn't ruled out the possibility of re-signing with the Bulls, LaVine said that he wants to keep his options open, giving other teams the opportunity to steal him in the 2022 NBA free agency.

Zach LaVine To LA Lakers

Zach LaVine pointing at the opposite end of the court
Wikimedia | Илья Яковлев

One of the teams that could try to steal LaVine from the Bulls this summer is the Los Angeles Lakers. In a recent article, Jason Reed of Fansided's Lake Show Life discussed a potential sign-and-trade scenario that would enable the Lakers to acquire LaVine in the 2022 NBA free agency. The hypothetical blockbuster trade won't only be between the Lakers and the Bulls, but it would also involve the New York Knicks.

In the proposed three-way deal, the Lakers would get LaVine, the Bulls would receive Evan Fournier and Julius Randle, and the Knicks would land Russell Westbrook, a 2027 first-round pick, and the rights to swap first-round picks in 2028.

Is Zach LaVine To Lakers A Possibility?

Zach LaVine shooting the ball
Wikimedia | Tm

Though the proposed three-team trade only has a minimal chance of happening, it's hard to eliminate the possibility that LaVine would be a member of the Purple and Gold in the 2022-23 NBA season. Aside from the fact that he's being represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group, LaVine had revealed in a 2020 interview that he loves to play with LeBron James.

"There's a lot of dudes out there I'd love to play with, but is it going to be realistic?" LaVine said. "Everybody wants to play with the best players in the world, you know. I would love to go out there and play with a dude like LeBron James, but you're not going to get those type of opportunities I don't think."

Zach LaVine Would Complement LeBron James & Anthony Davis

Zach LaVine warming up before the All-Star Game
Wikimedia | Tm

LaVine would undeniably be a dream acquisition for the Lakers this summer. Though it would require them to sacrifice some future draft assets, swapping Westbrook for LaVine would give the Lakers a third star who would perfectly complement James and Anthony Davis on the court. His potential arrival in Los Angeles would tremendously improve the Lakers' offense, giving them a very reliable scoring option, a decent playmaker, and an elite three-point shooter.

This season, LaVine averaged 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from beyond the arc. Sharing the floor with a legitimate floor spacer like LaVine would make it easier for James and Davis to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when they are trapped by the opposing team's defense.

Why Bulls & Knicks Would Make The Trade

Russell Westbrook holding the ball
Wikimedia | Bagumba

The proposed three-team trade would be worth exploring for the Bulls, especially if LaVine is no longer interested in staying with the team. Instead of losing him as a free agent without getting anything in return, the suggested deal would allow them to swap LaVine for two starting-caliber players in Randle and Fournier. Randle would boost the Bulls' frontcourt, giving them an All-Star caliber big man who can space the floor, while Fournier could try to fill the hole that LaVine would be leaving in their backcourt.

For the Knicks, the hypothetical blockbuster would be a no-brainer as it would allow them to get rid of two lucrative contracts while acquiring future draft picks. While waiting for Westbrook's contract to expire, the Knicks could use him as their starting point guard in the 2022-23 NBA season.