NBA rumors: Lakers willing to trade D'Angelo Russell for Zach LaVine but not much else

A Lakers insider has said that the team isn't willing to offer much more than D'Angelo Russell for Zach LaVine. Does this mean a trade is off the table?

Los Angeles Lakers v San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Lakers v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

According to Jovan Buha and Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic, the Lakers are willing to offer D'Angelo Russell in a trade for Zach LaVine but perhaps not much else. The Lakers are coming off a three-game losing streak with two of those losses against the mediocre Bulls and struggling Spurs. The reporters mention that the team might be willing to offer Rui Hachimura, young players, and one or two first-round picks but isn't willing to go all out.

Teams have not offered any big deals for LaVine because of a variety of reasons. The dunk contest champion contract is extremely overpaid for a player who is aging quickly. While he is a great bucket-getter in this league, the guard doesn't play amazing defense and is most likely a third option on a championship team. With this in mind, it's interesting to wonder whether the Lakers will be willing to shake up their roster for him.

The Lakers might have all the leverage in a Zach LaVine trade

To be quite honest, it's hard to see a big market for LaVine. Earlier in the season, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that there was "no market" for the player. Combined with the fact that the former Dunk contest champion has a limited time window to get traded, it's hard to see a world where a team offers a huge return to the Bulls.

Chicago will most likely try to play hardball but the team doesn't have a lot of leverage to ask for Austin Reaves if they want to move the two-time All-Star anytime before the trade deadline. Still, the Bulls might be able to get Rui Hachimura since the Lakers will probably be closer to the Play-In Tournament than a top-two seed in the conference by mid-January.

The Lakers are facing off against the Timberwolves, Celtics, and Thunder over their next three games. With a so-so schedule after, it is possible that the Lakers aren't able to stay a top-six seed in a good conference before Jan. 15 when Russell becomes trade-eligible. The Lakers may feel the urgency to make a move but they have other options. The Bulls might not.

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