The Los Angeles Lakers have recently been linked to the Chicago Bulls in a potential deal for one of their stars. While there may be a mutually beneficial deal to be had between the Bulls and the Lakers, the Bulls' reported asking price in a potential Lakers deal could complicate things.
According to Shams Charania, Chicago would be interested in Austin Reaves in return for Zach LaVine. That would likely be a non-starter for Los Angeles, however. But would that close the door on a LaVine to the Lakers deal entirely?
NBA Rumors: Despite the Bulls' asking price, the Lakers could still be the favorites to land LaVine.
While the Bulls may have an interest in Reaves, it doesn't necessarily mean that receiving him in return for LaVine is a must for them. In fact, it appears that there has been lukewarm interest in LaVine thus far from other teams, and that could force the Bulls to adjust what they are willing to take back in return for their best player.
The Lakers don't have any other players that have the same upside as Reaves, but they may be one of the few teams willing to take LaVine's $180 million contract and give up multiple assets to do so. That means that the Lakers could potentially offer Rui Hachimura, D'Angelo Russell, Tauren Prince, a 2026 pick swap, and a 2029 first-round pick (top-5 protected), and the Bulls may at least consider it.
All in all, the Bulls' rumored interest in Reaves may not actually affect a hypothetical deal between them and Los Angeles since LaVine isn't in as high of a demand as initially expected. If that continues to be the case, then the Lakers could put together a competitive offer to try and land LaVine. However, it remains to be seen whether the Bulls will ultimately agree to that deal.