Plugging Holes in the Lakers’ Lineup!

Besides finding a second superstar, the Lakers need a starting stretch-five, starting shooting guard, and back up point guard

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The challenge the Los Angeles Lakers face is they not only desperately need a second superstar to pair with LeBron James but also have several major holes in their lineup that need to be plugged to become a championship contender.

And if that were not enough, the Lakers also need to fill every one of these holes with players who are willing and capable three-point shooters who can bring desperately needed veteran experience and stability to a young roster. Finally, they also need to be able to accomplish this without sacrificing all of their promising and talented young core or stripping down their roster to the level that they don’t have enough depth to compete for a championship.

Even with a bevy of valuable trading chips in young talent, the #4 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, and $32 million in cap space to pursue free agents, the Lakers face a daunting challenge finding the right players to plug their holes. Following are three possible scenarios that would provide the Lakers with a second superstar to pair with LeBron, a starting stretch-five center, a starting shooting guard who can score and playmake, and a second elite point guard.

Scenario 1. Sign Celtics’ Kyrie Irving or Hornets’ Kemba Walker to max contract and sign-and-trade the #4 draft pick for Buck’s Brook Lopez.

Acquiring a point guard like Kyrie or Kemba in free agency would solve the Lakers’ need for a superstar to pair with LeBron as well as their need for both a starting shooting guard and backup point guard since they could start Kyrie or Kemba alongside Lonzo in a two point guard starting lineup and then stagger their minutes so they would always have one of them on the floor much like the Houston Rockets do with James Harden and Chris Paul.

While signing Kyrie or Kemba would cost the them all their available cap space, the Lakers could still package their #4 pick, which has a cap hold of $7.1 million, and Moritz Wagner, who makes $2.1 million, in sign-and-trade deal for the Buck’s Brook Lopez. Lopez would obviously have to agree to the trade but the Lakers could pay him $11.5 million per year for three years, which is $2 million per year more than the Bucks could with no Bird rights.

Signing Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker and trading for Brook Lopez would give the Los Angeles Lakers desperately needed three-point shooting and veteran experience and stability. The 27-year old Irving is an eight-year veteran and career 39.0% three-point shooter. The 29-year old Walker is an eight-year veteran and career 35.7% three-point shooter. The 31-year old Lopez is an eleven-year veteran and career 34.7% three-point shooter.

Starters: PG Lonzo Ball, SG Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker, SF Brandon Ingram, PF LeBron James, CE Brook Lopez. Key Reserves: PG Alex Caruso, SG Reggie Bullock, SF Josh Hart, PF Kyle Kuzma, CE JaVale McGee.

Scenario 2. Trade for Wizards’ Bradley Beal and sign Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon for $12M and Hawks’ Dewayne Dedmon for $8M.

Trading for Bradley Beal would solve the Lakers’ need for a second superstar to pair with LeBron James as well as their need for a starting shooting guard but likely cost them Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and the #4 pick in the draft. Because they couldn’t match salaries, they’d have to use some of their cap space for free agency to finalize the trade but would still have $20 million left to sign the Buck’s Malcolm Brogdon and the Hawks Dewayne Dedmon.

Stealing Brogdon from the Bucks is almost as big a coup as trading for the Wizards Beal as Malcolm would give the Lakers a third starting quality guard who’s a proven exceptional three-point shooter, playmaker, and defender. Brogdon, Beal, and Ball would enable the Lakers to have an All-Star quality backcourt on the floor 48 minutes per game. Dedmon would be a great fit as a veteran starting stretch-five who can protect the rim and defend in space.

Adding Bradley Beal via trade and Malcolm Brogdon and Dewayne Dedmon via free agency would provide the Lakers with critical three-point shooting and veteran experience and stability. The 28-year old Holiday is a ten-year veteran and career 38.4% three-point shooter. The 26-year old Brogdon is a three-year veteran and career 40.8% three-point shooter. The 29-year old Dedmon is an eight-year veteran and career 37.0% three-point shooter.

Starters: PG Lonzo Ball, SG Bradley Beal, SF LeBron James, PF Kyle Kuzma, CE Dewayne Dedmon. Key Reserves: PG Malcolm Brogdon, SG Reggie Bullock, SF Jemerrio Jones, PF Mike Muscala, CE JaVale McGee.

Scenario 3. Trade for Pelicans Jrue Holiday and sign Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon for $14M and Hawks’ DeWayne Dedmon for $8M.

Trading for Jrue Holiday would solve the Lakers’ need for a second superstar to pair with LeBron James as well as their need for a starting shooting guard but likely cost them Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and the #4 pick in the draft. Because they couldn’t match salaries, they’d have to use some of their cap space for free agency to finalize the trade but would still have $22 million left to sign the Buck’s Malcolm Brogdon and the Hawks Dewayne Dedmon.

Stealing Brogdon from the Bucks is almost as big a coup as trading for the Pelicans’ Holiday as Jrue would give the Lakers a third starting quality guard who’s a proven exceptional three-point shooter, playmaker, and defender. Brogdon, Holiday, and Ball would enable the Lakers to have an All-Star quality backcourt on the floor 48 minutes per game. Dedmon would be a great fit as a starting stretch-five who can protect the rim and defend in space.

Adding Bradley Beal via trade and Malcolm Brogdon and Dewayne Dedmon via free agency would provide the Lakers with critical three-point shooting and veteran experience and stability. The 25-year old Beal is a seven-year veteran and career 38.4% three-point shooter. The 26-year old Brogdon is a three-year veteran and career 40.8% three-point shooter. The 29-year old Dedmon is an eight-year veteran and career 37.0% three-point shooter.

Trading for Jrue Holiday would solve the Lakers’ need for a second superstar to pair with LeBron James as well as their need for a starting shooting guard but likely cost them Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and the #4 pick in the draft. Because they couldn’t match salaries, they would have to use half of their $32 million in cap space to finalize the trade but would still have $16 million left to steal restricted free agent point guard Malcolm Brogdon from the Bucks.

Stealing Brogdon from the Bucks is almost as big a coup as getting Holiday from the Wizards as Malcolm would give the Lakers a third starting quality guard who’s an exceptional three-point shooter, playmaker, and defender. Brogdon, Holiday, and Ball would enable the Lakers to have an All-Star quality backcourt on the floor the entire game. As outlined above, the Lakers could use their midlevel and room exceptions to sign Dedmon and McGee.

Adding Jrue Holiday via trade and Malcolm Brogdon and Dewayne Dedmon via free agency would provide the Lakers with critical three-point shooting and veteran experience and stability. The 28-year old Holiday is a ten-year veteran and career 35.5% three-point shooter. The 26-year old Brogdon is a three-year veteran and career 40.8% three-point shooter. The 29-year old Dedmon is an eight-year veteran and career 37.0% three-point shooter.

Starters: PG Lonzo Ball, SG Jrue Holiday, SF LeBron James, PF Kyle Kuzma, CE Dewayne Dedmon. Key Reserves: PG Malcolm Brogdon, SG Reggie Bullock, SF Jemerrio Jones, PF Mike Muscala, CE JaVale McGee.

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

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