Why the latest LaVine update should be music to the Lakers and 76ers' ears

Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The NBA's trade deadline is less than two months away, and several playoff teams are expected to be active in the trade market in hopes of bolstering their roster. Two of those teams are likely to be the Los Angeles Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls could look to do the opposite, with several of their players rumored to be on the trade block, including star Zach LaVine. However, LaVine has just been ruled out for the next 4–5 weeks due to inflammation in his foot, which may complicate his already complicated trade market.

While his name has frequently come up in trade rumors of late, his value doesn't appear to be very high, and missing up to four weeks probably won't increase his value. Although that may be bad for the Bulls, it could be great for the Lakers and Sixers.

Why the latest Zach LaVine development should be music to the Lakers and Sixers' ears.

As Shams Charania points out, LaVine's projected return roughly coincides with the date that teams can trade players who were re-signed using bird rights this past summer. That affects the Lakers since they would need D'Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura's contracts to help match salaries in a trade for LaVine. It also helps the Sixers since they have players such as Nic Batum, Robert Covington, and Marcus Morris, all of whom were acquired in the James Harden trade.

Their salaries can't be combined in another trade for 60 days following the Harden deal, but that wouldn't be nearly as much of an issue with LaVine out until January. Assuming LaVine's trade value doesn't improve while he's out, the Lakers and Sixers could potentially get him for a song.

If that were the case and the Lakers or Sixers were able to trade for him, it could shift the balance of the Eastern or Western Conference and boost each team's championship hopes.