After a disastrous start to the season, the Los Angeles Lakers are finally starting to look like a formidable opponent. Sure, they are the 13th seed in the Western Conference, but they are just 5.5 games back of the first seed, and 2.5 games back from the seventh seed. The Western Conference table will look a whole lot different by the All-Star break.

The Lakers have internally discussed the possibility of shipping Russell Westbrook and their 2027 and 2029 first round picks to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for two former All-Stars in DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic.

Here are 3 reasons why the Lakers should pull the trigger on this trade.

1. LeBron and AD have arrived

For years, Anthony Davis has been titled one of the most “talented” players in the league, but is often left off of “top-5 players in the league” lists. This year, he is finally starting to do the things we know he is capable of doing, lighting teams up in the paint with Defensive Player of the Year level play on the other end. Davis recently put up a ridiculous 55-point domination of the Washington Wizards, lurching his name forward into the MVP discussions.

Despite being in Year 20, LeBron has not missed a beat, averaging 25.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. He has struggled shooting the ball from the outside, just 33.1 percent from beyond the arc, his lowest since the 2015-16 championship season, but he is still settling for tough jumpshots in an effort to preserve his body.

If LeBron is going to preserve his body, the Lakers’ front office might as well put that to use. The Lakers are 7-3 in their last ten games — the 2020 championship formula is still proven. Get LeBron James and Anthony Davis healthy on the court together and they can beat anyone in the league. It’s time for general manager Rob Pelinka to put a legitimate team around them and potentially make a Lakers trade.

2. The Bulls stars are solid fits

DeRozan may not shoot threes at a high clip, and the formula for LeBron-led teams have always been to surround “The King” with shooting, but DeRozan is elite at attacking closeouts. Teams will defend LeBron and Davis the same way no matter who’s on the floor: pack the paint and make them kick. Russell Westbrook also cannot shoot the long ball efficiently, but has looked better recently attacking closeouts. DeRozan’s ability to create his own shot from the midrange is something Westbrook simply does not bring, although he may not admit it.

A tandem of Davis and Vucevic in the front court could help the Lakers revert to their 2020 style of ball, two bigs suffocating the paint and crashing the glass. Vucevic has the ability to spread the floor for Davis to go to work in the post, as the Bulls center has connected on 34.8% of his 4.5 attempted threes per game. Vucevic does have defensive liabilites on the perimeter, but Davis is an All-NBA level defender, with the ability to clean up the mistakes. Head Coach Darvin Ham can also use Vucevic based on matchups night in and night out, sliding Davis to the 5 if Vucevic’s defense becomes a real issue.

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3. Westbrook has been better, but not good enough

It is time to give Russell Westbrook his props. It is not easy to go from being an MVP-level player to coming off the bench, just ask CarMelo Anthony. He has been extremely useful off the bench, providing that spark of energy when the Lakers have one of their patented slow starts out of the gate.

Despite the increase in productivity, it is still time for Pelinka to admit defeat with this Westbrook experiment. The Lakers hold a -6 net rating per 100 possessions with both LeBron and Westbrook on the floor. Westbrook has developed pick-and-roll chemistry with Davis, but there are still too many kinks to figure out between LeBron and Westbrook.

DeRozan provides much of what Westbrook brings, but with the ability to be a legitimate scoring threat as well. Do not forget his guy was a dark horse MVP candidate last season — the Lakers should be giddy at the opportunity to pull the trigger on such a trade and pair the Bulls star with LeBron and Davis.