The Chicago Bulls could play spoiler to the LA Lakers’ plan to run the offense through Anthony Davis. An anonymous Western conference executive brought up the intriguing possibility of the Bulls making a move for the oft-injured big man.
The Utah Jazz have several quality role players that the LA Lakers could potentially target in exchange for Westbrook and Talen Horton-Tucker. Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson and Pat Beverley are interesting pieces that could be crucial for the Lakers next season.
The Chicago Bulls could be interested in Anthony Davis
With LeBron James’ approval, new LA Lakers coach Darvin Ham has publicly stated his plan to make Anthony Davis the hub of the offense. AD has played in 76 games over the last two years. However, the Lakers have no qualms about making him the centerpiece of the offense.
One rival Western conference executive confided in Sean Deveney that the Chicago Bulls might be out to disrupt that plan.
“The main way it would happen if it was going to happen was to get Davis somewhere he wants to go, and the main place he’d want to go is Chicago, where he’s from.”
"For a hypothetical trade to happen, the report added that Zach LaVine would have to be the main piece in trade negotiations. The All-Star guard is from California and has admitted to being open to the idea of playing with LeBron James in LA.
If a shocking, mega-blockbuster exchange does happen, it may not be in the offseason.
“It would have to wait until January, but that would be the deal that makes the most sense if AD is going to change teams.”
Unless LeBron James signs off on the move, the LA Lakers will likely declare Anthony Davis untouchable.
How the LA Lakers start the 2022-23 season could determine Russell Westbrook’s trade date
The LA Lakers started 5-5 in the Russell Westbrook era. LA’s dismal start wasn’t surprising, considering the number of new players they had on the roster.
However, their slow start was a harbinger of worse things in the future. LA’s front office may not wait to desperately push to trade Russell Westbrook for other pieces if LA gets off to another slow start.
On the Athletic’s NBA Show, Alex Speers predicted that the former MVP’s stint in LA will be over quickly if the team starts poorly:
“I’m predicting that if they don’t trade him by the opening game, within those first two weeks, by November 1st, there will be a Russell Westbrook trade because that opening schedule is setting them up for another disappointment. If they get up to another disappointing start again, the pressure is going to be insanely high.”
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The LA Lakers reportedly assured LeBron James that they will aggressively make moves to upgrade the team. Trading Westbrook early in the season would be an example of the Lakers keeping their word.
LA’s first nine games will be brutal. They start on the road against the defending champs, the Golden State Warriors.
NBA Insider urges the Lakers to acquire the Utah Jazz’s bevy of quality role players for Mr. Triple-Double
The Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving seems to be the LA Lakers' top target in the Russell Westbrook trade discussions. Indiana’s Myles Turner and Buddy Hield are also popular options.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, however, urged the Lakers to go the Utah Jazz route:
“If I’m the Lakers, I’m looking at the Jazz roster and I’m thinking, ‘Hmm, they got Mike Conley, got Bojan Bogdanovic, got Jordan Clarkson, got Patrick Beverley.’”
“They could get all four of those guys with THT and Russ. … If I’m the Lakers, I’m looking at those four guys and thinking those are the kind of guys that, to go back to our earlier conversation, if the Lakers could get them, they could really be in some business in terms of being competitive.”
The Lakers prioritized youth and athleticism in their free-agent signings in the offseason. They haven’t addressed their shooting issues and it remains to be seen how the young new Lakers will adjust to the bright lights.