With rumors linking Zach LaVine to the Los Angeles Lakers, LA will need some Hollywood magic to figure out a way to land the All-Star guard. The Lakers don’t have a cap spot this offseason and would need to get a sign-and-trade with the Bulls for a chance to add LaVine. The two-time All-Star is a free agent and would need to force his way to the Lakers for that scenario to happen.
Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus believes the Lakers may need to bring in a third team to have any realistic chance of securing LaVine, which the NBA insider admitted was a long shot. Pincus pitched the Magic as a potential team the Lakers could lean on to facilitate a sign-and-trade for LaVine.
“Because of specific injury exclusions in his contract triggered by [Jonathan] Isaac is missing over 25 games this season, his three years remaining and $52.2 million is now $23.6 million guaranteed,” Pincus explained on May 11, 2022. “But those team-friendly savings will only trigger when Isaac is renounced. The Magic could try to sign-and-trade Isaac with Terrence Ross and, if the team drafts Holmgren, maybe Mo Bamba. Would Chicago be willing to take Ross, Horton-Tucker and a first-rounder from the Lakers if LaVine insisted on leaving?
“What would the Lakers have to give to get Orlando to use his cap room on Westbrook? Is dismissing Isaac and Ross enough, or would the Magic also require a first-round pick?
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Vegas has the Lakers as one of the teams with the best chance of signing LaVine. According to BetOnline.AG, the Lakers are third in chance of landing LaVine if the guard decides to leave Chicago. The Spurs (2-to-1) and Blazers (3-to-1) have the best odds, followed by the Lakers at 4-to-1. A league source told Heavy.com NBA insider Sean Deveney that the LaVine rumors were an attempt by Klutch Sports to get the guard a massive new deal from the Bulls.
“A lot of that comes from the agents who not only want to get him paid but want to raise his profile at the same time,” a league source told Heavy. “This is her MO. The more dramatic it is, the better. Nobody talked about Zach. Now they are all. Mission accomplished.
“…It’s still Zach’s team. Klutch just wants to make sure everyone knows.”
The idea that Magic would want to take over Westbrook’s salary of $47 million is unrealistic. Orlando already has a crowded backcourt with Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs and Markelle Fultz. Westbrook doesn’t suddenly make the Magic a title contender and would take minutes away from the team’s young core.
Jonathan Isaac is a realistic trading chip since Magic Hold is number 1. Orlando is expected to select Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren or Paolo Banchero as a power forward alongside Wendell Carter Jr. Isaac’s $69 million contract runs through the 2024-25 season and the forward has a salary of $17.4 million. The Magic big man missed the last two seasons with an ACL injury and could be the odd man out in Orlando.