With the Chicago Bulls in flames, Rob Pelinka is circling the waters. The Bulls are reportedly open to trading Zach LaVine and the Lakers are rumored to be interested. But it seems that he is not only the Bulls player that the team wants. According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers are also interested in trading for Alex Caruso and DeMar DeRozan.
While the Lakers aren't in bad shape like they were early last season, the team is obviously in need of small repairs. The team could use a veteran point guard and an extra wing that takes the pressure off Austin Reaves who has struggled to start the season.
With Christian Wood looking solid for the team, the Lakers don't really need a big that is much better than can be found on the buyout market or with a second-round pick. With that in mind, the team can focus on building offers for the Bulls' guards. The problem will be that the Lakers will have to wait until Jan. 15 to offer a compelling offer, because several of the players they signed this summer won't be eligible to be traded until then.
What kind of offers can the Lakers make for Zach LaVine, Alex Caruso, and DeMar DeRozan?
Most likely in all trade packages, the Lakers would be using D'Angelo Russell or Gabe Vincent as their main salary filler. The simplest trade package is Alex Caruso. For Caruso, the Lakers can most likely offer a deal centered around D'Angelo Russell, a first-round pick from the end of the 2020s decade, and one or two swaps. Caruso will most likely get the most return for the Bulls due to the fact that he's an elite role player in this league and on a reasonable contract.
Caruso also doesn't come with the weight of a bad contract and isn't pushing 34 while looking for a new deal. DeMar DeRozan is on a giant $28 million expiring and will most likely get more than a first-round pick in return for Chicago. The Lakers will have to give up D'Angelo Russell, Jalen Hood-Schifino, and another $5.4 million in salary.
The Lakers would offer Schifino due to the fact that they would only have to offer one first-round pick in the deal rather than also adding swaps to the deal. This is due to the fact that Schifino is a first-round pick and despite the injury struggles to start the season, the Bulls might be interested.
Finally, for LaVine, the Lakers will most likely need to offer a deal centered around Russell, Gabe Vincent, Schifino, and another $5 million in salary (they could add Taurean Prince). In order to trade for LaVine, the Lakers will need to add two draft swaps and the one first-round pick that they have left. Regardless of where the Lakers go, this is a team that has a high chance of doing business with the Bulls.