Lakers Are On the Clock But Which Teams Fit Best As Trading Partners?

LakerTom

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With LeBron James still dominating at 38 and Anthony Davis looking like the league MVP and DPOY, the Los Angeles Lakers may not need as much help to become a legitimate contender as their front office once thought.

What’s changed the Lakers front office thinking has not only been the top-5 superstar level play of James and Davis but also the recent breakout play received from Thomas Bryant, Dennis Schröder, and Russell Westbrook.
Bryant and Schröder have probably earned starting roles at center and point guard. Even without trades, Schröder, Reaves, James, Davis, and Bryant should be good enough as starters to finish as a top-6 seed.

Ironically, the development and evolution of the above starting lineup was the silver lining in the Lakers’ poor start to the season. Credit Ham and his player development oriented staff for emergence of this starting fivesome.
In camp, Westbrook, Walker, James, Davis, and Jones were the projected starters. but a slow start, Russ going to the bench, and James and Davis getting injured opened doors for Thomas Bryant and Dennis Schröder.

The Lakers still need a volume 3-point shooting two-guard like Hield or Burks, a bigger 3&D wing like Anunoby or Kuzma, and a true stretch five center like Turner or Bamba who can protect the rim when Davis is out.
While the Lakers are supposedly willing to give up their two first round picks for a third star like Zach LaVine or Bradley Beal, they’re more likely now to make a smaller trade involving Beverley, Nunn, and one pick.

The major negotiating point in every single one of these deals is going to be whether the Lakers will give up an unprotected pick because Beverley, Nunn, and Jones have no value other than their contract is expiring.
The Lakers should expect every team to demand an unprotected pick. There will be good trades to be made where the Lakers can still keep some protection but the Lakers should expect to have to give up protections.

A Beverley, Nunn, Jones, and one-pick trade just needs a single trading partner who has a package of players the Lakers covet. Here are the five teams who are the best fits to trade with the Lakers before the deadline:

  1. Toronto Raptors

The Los Angeles Lakers best potential trading partner is the Toronto Raptors and their best trade is Beverley, Walker, Nunn, and the Lakers’ 2027 first round pick unprotected for Gary Trent, Jr. and Chris Boucher.

The Lakers give up an unprotected first round pick but receive in return a 23-year old 3&D shooting guard in Gary Trent, Jr. who averages 18.5 points per game and is a 38.5% career 3-point shooter on over 7 threes per game.
The Lakers also receive a 29-year old versatile forward/center in Chris Boucher who averaged 9.7 points, 5.7 boards, and 0.7 blocks per game in 20.9 minutes per game and can play both forwards and small ball center.

The Raptors are rebuilding around Scottie Barnes and are willing to trade everybody else. While the Lakers would be willing to give up both of their first round picks for Anunoby, this is a deal the Raptors should accept.

LAKERS DEPTH CHART AFTER TRADE:

PG: Dennis Schröder / Russell Westbrook / Open
SG:
GARY TRENT JR / Austin Reaves / Lonnie Walker IV
SF: LeBron James / Troy Brown Jr / Max Christie
PF: Anthony Davis / Wenyen Gabriel / Juan Toscano-Anderson
CE: Thomas Bryant /
CHRIS BOUCHER / Open

2. Detroit Pistons

The Los Angeles Lakers next best potential trading partner is the Detroit Pistons and their best trade is Beverley, Nunn, Jones and the Lakers 2027 first round pick unprotected for Bojan Bogdanovic and Saddiq Bey.

The Lakers give up an unprotected first round pick but receive a 33-year old 3&D small forward in Bojan Bogdanovic who averages 21.0 points per game and is a 39.4% career 3-point shooter on close to 7 attempts per game.
The Lakers also receive a 23-year old backup small forward in Saddiq Bey, who averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 boards, and 0.9 steals in 28.3 minutes per game and is a career 35.4% shooter from deep on 6 threes per game.

The Pistons wanted an unprotected first round pick to trade Bogdanovic. The Lakers give up the unprotected first round pick as quid pro quo for the Pistons including young 3&D wing Saddiq Bey as part of the transaction.

LAKERS DEPTH CHART AFTER TRADE:

PG: Dennis Schröder / Russell Westbrook / Open
SG: Austin Reaves / Lonnie Walker IV / Max Christie
SF:
BOJAN BOGDANOVIC / SADDIQ BEY / Troy Brown Jr
PF: LeBron James / Wenyen Gabriel / Juan Toscano-Anderson
CE: Anthony Davis / Thomas Bryant / Open

3. Indiana Pacers

The Los Angeles Lakers next potential trading partner is the Indiana Pacers and their single best trade is Beverley, Nunn, Jones and the Lakers’ 2027 first round pick unprotected for Indiana center Myles Turner.

The Lakers give up an unprotected first round pick but receive a 26-year old stretch five center in Myles Turner who averages 17.0 points and 7.9 rebounds per game and is shooting 37.9% on close to 4 attempts per game.
Where Turner will have the greatest impact, however, will be on the Lakers’ defense. Pairing him with Anthony Davis will essentially enable the Lakers to put a lid on their basket for all 48 minutes of every single game.

The Pacers have demanded one first round pick for taking on Westbrook’s contract and one pick for Myles Turner. Indiana should have no problem accepting expiring contracts and an unprotected first for Myles Turner.

LAKERS DEPTH CHART AFTER TRADE:

PG: Dennis Schröder / Russell Westbrook / Max Christie
SG: Austin Reaves / Lonnie Walker IV / Open
SF: LeBron James / Troy Brown Jr / Open
PF: Anthony Davis / Wenyen Gabriel / Juan Toscano-Anderson
CE:
MYLES TURNER / Thomas Bryant / Open

4. San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs are also an excellent trading partner for the Los Angeles Lakers and their best trade is Beverley, Nunn, Jones and the 2027 first round pick unprotected for Jakob Poeltl and Josh Richardson.

The Lakers give up an unprotected first round pick but receive an elite 27-year old defensive center in Jakob Poeltl, who averages 11.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 26.4 minutes per game and shoots over 60%.
The Lakers also receive a 29-year old 6' 6" shooting guard with a 6' 10" wingspan in Josh Richardson, who’s also an outstanding defender and career 36.5% 3-point shooter and has the size to play small forward.

The Spurs are in a complete rebuild and expiring contracts and a post-LeBron James unprotected Lakers first round draft pick should be enough for them to trade Jakob Poeltl and Josh Richardson to Los Angeles.

LAKERS DEPTH CHART AFTER TRADE:

PG: Dennis Schröder / Russell Westbrook / Max Christie
SG:
JOSH RICHARDSON / Austin Reaves / Lonnie Walker IV
SF: LeBron James / Troy Brown Jr / Open
PF: Anthony Davis / Wenyen Gabriel / Juan Toscano-Anderson
CE: Thomas Bryant /
JAKOB POELTL / Open

5. Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic are also an excellent trading partner for the Los Angeles Lakers and their best trade is Beverley, Nunn, Jones and the Lakers’ 2027 unprotected pick for Mo Bamba and Terrence Ross.

The Lakers give up an unprotected pick but receive a talented 24-year old backup center in Mo Bamba, who averages 7.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 18.3 minutes per game and shoots over 37% from deep.
The Lakers also receive a 31-year old 6' 7" shooting guard in Terrence Ross, who’s also a good defender and career 36.2% 3-point shooter on over 4 attempts per game with the size to play shooting guard or small forward.

The Magic are in a complete rebuild so expiring contracts and a post-LeBron James unprotected Lakers first round draft pick should be enough for them to trade Mo Bamba and Terrence Ross to Los Angeles.

LAKERS DEPTH CHART AFTER TRADE:

PG: Dennis Schröder / Russell Westbrook / Max Christie
SG:
TERRENCE ROSS / Austin Reaves / Lonnie Walker IV
SF: LeBron James / Troy Brown Jr / Open
PF: Anthony Davis / Wenyen Gabriel / Juan Toscano-Anderson
CE: Thomas Bryant /
MO BAMBA/ Open

6. Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bull are also a potential Los Angeles Lakers trading partner and their best potential trade for Beverley, Nunn, Jones, Walker, and the Lakers’ unprotected 2027 first round pick for DeMar DeRozan.

While some might question the fit, the Lakers have long coveted DeMar DeRozan and almost traded for him instead of Russell Westbrook last summer. Here’s a DeRozan trade that does not include Russell Westbrook.
Instead, the Lakers add Lonnie Walker to the package to make salaries match. DeRozan averaged 26.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.9 assists in 36.0 minutes per game. He’s not a good 3-point shooter but an elite scorer

The Bulls aren’t ready to trade LaVine but would probably jump at the chance to trade DeRozan for the Lakers 2027 unprotected first round pick. Despite no deep threat, DeRozan would make the Lakers dangerous.

LAKERS DEPTH CHART AFTER TRADE:

PG: Dennis Schröder / Russell Westbrook / Open
SG: Austin Reaves / Max Christie / Open
SF:
DEMAR DEROZAN / Troy Brown Jr / Open
PF: LeBron James / Wenyen Gabriel / Juan Toscano-Anderson
CE: Anthony Davis / Thomas Bryant / Open

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LakerTom

Lakers fanatic since 1971 when team traded for Wilt Chamberlain. Founder, editor, and publisher of Lakerholics.com, a community for smart informed Lakers fans.