Former All-Star Named Top Lakers Trade Target Despite Recent Rumors

Despite recent rumors to the contrary, Zach LaVine has been named the Lakers' top trade target.
Mar 31, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso (6) talks with guard Zach
Mar 31, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso (6) talks with guard Zach / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody is expecting the Los Angeles Lakers to stay put at the trade deadline. This is a team that is all-in on building a legitimate championship contender around LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves.

One name that was being floated aggressively as a Lakers target early in the season was Zach LaVine, but more recent reports have indicated that he's not as likely to be traded as was originally reported.

That hasn't stopped LaVine from being linked to the Lakers as their top trade target in 2024 by Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley.

Lakers Rumors: Zach LaVine Still a Top Trade Target?

Buckley's not shy about jumping into the "why not" — he fully acknowledges the injury issues and the hard-to-stomach contract the Lakers would be saddled with by adding LaVine. But for Buckley, LaVine's offensive skillset (which he describes as "arguably [better] than anyone on the trade market") overshadows any of those concerns.

And I mean, I guess I get it. When you rank No. 22 in the NBA in Offensive Rating, people will expect you to be desperate.

But is LaVine's game really the right fit to "fix" this Lakers offense? A team that ranks No. 28 in the NBA in 3-point attempts per 100 possessions and has the 11th-highest turnover rate doesn't exactly jump off the page as an ideal fit for LaVine's game.

He's become more dangerous from long range in recent year, sure.

But while he’s posting a career-high 3-point attempt rate (43% of his field-goal attempts have come from long range this year, compared to 39% last year and a 37% career average), that has seen his efficiency drop, and he’s making 3’s at a career-low 33.6% clip. His effective field goal percentage of 51.5% is his lowest since the 2017-18 season. 

This team needs to improve on the offensive end, no doubt about it. But LaVine may not be the right answer to that question.