Rich Paul Pushed Back On Rumors Klutch Sports Wants To Get Zach LaVine On The Lakers

Zach LaVine is currently sidelined with a foot injury that has coincided with an increase in trade rumors around the former All-Star guard, with many speculating the L.A. native and Klutch Sports client prefers a landing spot with the Lakers.

However, LaVine has not produced to the level of a star who, on his current contract, can fully dictate where he will play next and to this point there has been little in the way of movement, with the most recent update being there is “not a market” for the star right now. As such, with trade season officially opening on December 15 with players signed this summer now eligible to be traded, LaVine’s representation is trying to make clear that he is not singularly focused on the Lakers.

Rich Paul spoke with The Athletic’s Sam Amick recently and insisted the Lakers were not the “specific destination” in mind for LaVine, and, while being wise enough to speak publicly on trade demands, noted that they’ll work with the Bulls to figure out what’s best for all parties “in the event” Chicago decides to look to move him.

“It’s not one team,” Paul told The Athletic regarding the LaVine situation. “I don’t have a specific destination for Zach. I want what’s best for Zach and his family. When you have a guy playing the game, you want him to be able to play the game happy, whether that’s in Chicago or somewhere else.”

“In the event the Bulls decide they would like to go a different direction with the team, and it involves Zach, then I’m sure we’ll have conversations to get clarity on what’s best for both sides,” Paul said. “Until then, the goal is to get healthy and return ready to go.”

It’s not surprising Paul would want to publicly push a message that LaVine is not just trying to force his way to L.A., as they need to create a market for him right now, and it’s hard to do that if teams think he has one team in mind. Since LaVine has four years left on his contract, they need teams trading for him to believe he’s in it for the long haul and would be committed to a new team. Later in the piece, Amick notes that LaVine has interest in joining De’Aaron Fox in Sacramento (a fellow Klutch client), but the difficulty in making that trade happen is the Kings are not willing to part with Keegan Murray in a deal.

We likely won’t get any movement on the LaVine trade front until January at the earliest, as teams will want to see him back on the court and healthy before considering a move for him. The Bulls will also want him to raise his value a bit by playing (and playing well), as they won’t be particularly keen on selling low on, theoretically, their top veteran trade asset.

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