NBA Rumors: 2 High-profile trade targets Los Angeles Lakers value over Zach LaVine

The Los Angeles Lakers have a surprising trade deadline wishlist.

Los Angeles Lakers v Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Lakers v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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NBA Trade Rumors: The Los Angeles Lakers prioritize two high-profile difference-makers over Zach LaVine heading into the NBA Trade Deadline.

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently in a second tier, at best, of the Western Conference contenders and likely need to make a move for a third star or difference-maker if they want to emerge as a potential threat heading into the push towad the playoffs.

Over the last few weeks, Zach LaVine emerged as a natural NBA Trade Deadline target for a team like the Lakers.

According to Lakers reporter Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers value or prioritize DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso over Zach LaVine as a trade asset heading into the NBA Trade Deadline. As the Lakers emerged as a logical potential landing spot for LaVine, that could understandably complicate his trade market.

Especially if this is a thinking that extends beyond just the Lakers. Considering the recent reporting surrounding LaVine, it could very well be the case.

Why the Los Angeles Lakers value DeRozan and Caruso over LaVine

There are very clear reasons why a team like the Lakers may find more value in a player such as DeRozan and Caruso over LaVine. For one, DeRozan and Caruso are established role players with star talent that have proven to play valuable roles on successful teams. On the other hand, LaVine has never proven he can do that at any point throughout his career. That's not to say that he can't, but there's certainly a bigger risk on that front.

Additionally, DeRozan and Caruso are much more financially affordable for a salary-strapped team like the Lakers. DeRozan is an expiring contract and Caruso has one year remaining after this season for less than $10 million. LaVine, on the other hand, has roughly $138 million remaining on his contract over the next three years.

With the uncertainty that revolves around LeBron's future, it probably wouldn't be in the best interest of the long-term future of the Lakers to add that level of money over the next few seasons.

DeRozan and Caruso could also be much-better fits for the Lakers from a basketball perspective. Of course, the problem is that there's no guarantee that the Bulls would even be open to trading DeRozan or Caruso.

A recent report states that the Bulls want to see how the dust settles after a potential LaVine trade before moving on from anyone else. That means we have to see a LaVine trade before the idea of a DeRozan or Caruso move comes to frution.

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The Lakers are expected to be patient heading into the NBA Trade Deadline but at this point, it would be surprising if LaVine was at the top of their deadline wishlist.