LeBron James was in favor of the Lakers trading for Zach LaVine: reports

LeBron James was in favor of the Lakers trading for Zach LaVine: reports originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

There was a chance Zach LaVine could've gone back near his alma mater in Los Angeles before the last NBA trade deadline, according to reports.

The Athletic reported LeBron James "was in support" of the idea of the Lakers trading for LaVine.

"James was also in support of the Lakers trading for Dejounte Murray or Zach LaVine — two Klutch Sports clients — in the weeks and months leading into the 2024 trade deadline, according to those sources," The Athletic wrote.

Remember, too, James has serious power in the Lakers' front office. He was involved in the trade to acquire Russell Westbrook in 2022. According to the report, he's vouched for the Lakers to team him back up with Kyrie Irving, too.

From a Bulls perspective, it's well-documented, including reports from NBC Sports Chicago, that the Bulls were working for months to find a new destination for LaVine. That didn't unfold before the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline, as LaVine's season-ending foot surgery, maximum value contract and a high-asking price from the Bulls likely played a factor.

Still, it would've been interesting, not only to see what package the Bulls could've gotten from the Lakers in return for LaVine, but how he would've fared with James and Davis as a likely third option. Heading into the All-Star break, the Lakers stand ninth in the Western Conference with a 30-26 record. They own the 13th-ranked offense and 18th-ranked defense in the league.

As for a package, it's curious how much the Lakers would've been willing to give up, or how much the Bulls would have been willing to accept. Packages including Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura and a future first-round pick were rumored and prognosticated. The Lakers' willingness to part with Reaves seemed unlikely, however.

It's telling The Athletic didn't mention LaVine, who's under contract with the Bulls for the next three seasons after this year, as an offseason target for the Lakers. They mentioned Donovan Mitchell, Trae Young and Kyrie Irving as likely trade targets.

Rest assured, LaVine will be shopped this offseason once again, Insider K.C. Johnson reported earlier this season, as the organization faces major decisions in returning DeMar DeRozan and Patrick Williams. Would the Lakers reenter the conversation about LaVine then?

Remember, LaVine, James and Anthony Davis all share the same agent in Rich Paul with Klutch Sports Group. Klutch favored LaVine going to Los Angeles, which Johnson reported on the Bulls Talk Podcast.

The Golden State Warriors, according to The Athletic report, tried using the same entryway through Klutch with Draymond Green to engage in talks with the Lakers about acquiring James. Those talks, as interesting as they are on the surface, never advanced.

But could talks between the Bulls and Lakers resurface this summer? Reports wouldn't indicate its likelihood. But stay tuned for a pivotal Bulls offseason.

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