According to the latest NBA rumors, the Los Angeles Lakers seem more interested in trading for Chicago Bulls guards DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso than Zach LaVine.
During a guest appearance on “Hoops Tonight,” Jovan Buha of The Athletic mentioned that Los Angeles is reportedly targeting DeRozan and Caruso instead of LaVine.
“I’ve actually heard that they’re more interested in DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso. A.C., he’s the one that got away,” Buha said.
“Lakers fans, it still bothers them. Inside of the organization, it’s still a very divisive topic. And then DeMar is someone the Lakers have courted for several years now.”
Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Los Angeles Lakers hold seventh-shortest odds to win this season’s 2024 championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, and Philadelphia 76ers.
LaVine, 28, is owed $129 million over the next three seasons. The two-time All-Star is earning $40.06 million this season and $43.03 million in 2024-25. His deal also carries a 2026-27 player option worth $48.9 million.
Meanwhile, DeRozan is earning $28.6 million this season. The three-time All-NBA member is in the final season of the three-year, $81.9 million contract he inked with the San Antonio Spurs as part of the sign-and-trade agreement with Chicago. Also, Caruso is making $9.46 million this season and is slated to earn $9.89 million in 2024-25.
NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers pursuing DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso, not Zach LaVine trade
“Both of those guys are on more manageable contracts,” Buha added. “Alex has a partial guarantee for next season, DeMar is an expiring contract. DeMar comes in, he’s that over-the-top shotmaker that the team seemingly doesn’t really have outside of when LeBron’s jumper is falling.
“And then Alex Caruso, one of the best point-of-attack defenders in the league, one of the best perimeter [shooters] in the league, period. We’ve seen the success he’s had next to LeBron and AD in a Lakers jersey.
“So I think both of those guys make more sense within what the Lakers need. There’s real interest in all three guys, but from what I’ve heard DeMar and Alex are higher on their priority list.”
Through 18 starts this season, LaVine is averaging 21 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 35.3 minutes per game. He’s also shooting 44.3% from the field, a career-low 33.6% outside the arc, and 86.6% at the foul line.
In Chicago’s 124-97 blowout loss to the Boston Celtics, he scored only two points on 1-of-9 (11.1%) shooting from the field and missed three 3-point attempts in 25 minutes of action. LaVine left with a sore right foot and did not return.
The Bulls will likely trade LaVine this season, but his new team might not be the Lakers.
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