Posted on: December 4, 2022, 10:26h.
Final up to date on: December 4, 2022, 10:26h.
The Chicago Bulls look misplaced this season with an 8-13 document. The Bulls might blow up their crew by dealing ahead DeMar DeRozan and middle Nikola Vucevic to the Los Angeles Lakers in a commerce for level guard Russell Westbrook.
Chicago Bulls ahead DeMar DeRozan chats up middle Anthony Davis from the Los Angeles Lakers. DeRozan is the topic of commerce rumors involving the Lakers and Russell Westbrook. (Picture: Getty)
Celebrity LeBron James from the Lakers not too long ago handed Magic Johnson for sixth on the NBA all-time assists listing, and he inches nearer to passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to turn out to be the NBA’s all-time main scorer. A wholesome Anthony Davis is taking part in out of his thoughts averaging 27.6 factors, 12.6 rebounds, and a couple of.4 blocks per sport. The Lakers have a prime 5 protection, however their offense wants a lift and severely lacks dependable 3-point shooters.
LeBron hinted that the Lakers, at the moment on the playoff bubble with a 9-12 document, are a pair veterans away from making a playoff run. However can the Lakers add these key gamers in a Westbrook commerce with out giving up any first-round draft picks?
The Lakers are ranked #13 within the Western Convention. Solely the Houston Rockets (6-17) and San Antonio Spurs (6-17) have a worst document out west, and each groups are brazenly tanking to safe prospect Victor Wembanyama within the NBA Draft Lottery.
The Bulls are ranked #12 within the Jap Convention. Solely the Charlotte Hornets (7-15), Detroit Pistons (6-18), and Orlando Magic (5-19) have a worst document than the Bulls. All three groups are additionally tanking for a shot at turning round their franchises with Wembanyama.
The Lakers are +5500 odds to win the 2022-23 NBA championship, in accordance with the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. The Bulls have for much longer odds at +15000.
Bulls Making an attempt to Commerce Vucevic
The Bulls didn’t assume they’d be of their present place. Level guard Lonzo Ball has been out for much longer than anybody anticipated. He by no means recovered from final yr’s knee surgical procedure in time to affix the crew within the 2022 NBA Playoffs. The Bulls secured the #6 seed final yr, however the #3 Milwaukee Bucks knocked them out in 5 video games.
The Bulls thought Ball could be prepared this preseason, however he underwent one other surgical procedure to wash up his knee. He’s missed all the begin of this season and the Bulls haven’t any timetable for his return.
Vucevic is within the ultimate season of a four-year contract. With an expiring contract value $22 million this season, the Bulls thought they have been going to commerce Vucevic within the offseason. They fielded a couple of presents from the Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers, however by no means acted on a deal. In 22 video games this season, the 32-year-old Vucevic averages 16 factors, 11.2 rebounds, and a couple of.9 assists per sport.
DeRozan averages 25.8 factors, 4.7 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per sport. He’s within the second yr of a three-year contract which pays him $27.3 million. He thought he was going to the Lakers two summers in the past, however the Lakers misfired with a commerce for Westbrook as an alternative of signing DeRozan.
Between DeRozan and Vucevic, their wage comes near matching a commerce for the hefty worth the Lakers pay Westbrook at $47 million.
Lakers Will Not Give Up Draft Picks in Any Westbrook Commerce
A reluctant Westbrook wished to start out, however he’s since embraced his position because the sixth man averaging 15 factors, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.3 rebounds per sport. He’s even the betting favourite to win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Yr at +130 odds in accordance with DraftKings.
The Lakers had quite a few discussions to commerce Westbrook. But, any potential deal fizzled out over further draft picks. Lakers normal supervisor Rob Pelinka is not going to budge on his hardline stance that the crew just isn’t prepared to surrender one future first-round draft decide, not to mention two first-rounders to the Bulls.
I can let you know 100% for certain that the Lakers have had inner discussions about that very chance, if it will ever come up,” stated Zach Lowe on ESPN’s Lowe Submit Podcast. “Not that they’d do this. Let me be clear.”
It is going to be as much as the Bulls to steer the Lakers to surrender not less than one draft decide in a Westbrook for DeRozan/Vucevic commerce.
The Lakers have a scarcity of future first-round picks after a blockbuster commerce for Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, and a horrible commerce for Westbrook from the Washington Wizards. They Lakers solely personal their first-round picks within the 2027 and 2029 NBA Draft, which is why Pelinka and the Lakers are protecting of their solely draft capital the remainder of the last decade.