3 Players The Lakers Could Trade For
The Lakers have been on a roll of late despite a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Los Angeles is 10-13 and are in a tight race in the Western Conference.
Anthony Davis has sparked their recent run, emerging as an MVP candidate and playing like the best player in the NBA.
Anthony Davis in his last nine games 😤💪— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 5, 2022
37 PTS, 18 REB, 2 AST
38 PTS, 16 REB, 4 BLK
30 PTS, 18 REB, 3 STL
37 PTS, 21 REB, 5 BLK
25 PTS, 15 REB, 3 BLK
25 PTS, 13 REB, 4 BLK
27 PTS, 12 REB, 3 BLK
44 PTS, 10 REB, 3 BLK
55 PTS, 17 REB, 3 BLK
HE'S BACK. pic.twitter.com/2U0DUXA2zk
Targets have emerged for LA as they have gotten back into the playoff hunt. Multiple trade packages have been mentioned, with the possibility of Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, and draft picks or Russell Westbrook and draft picks.
.@stephenasmith is encouraged by the Lakers 👀— First Take (@FirstTake) December 6, 2022
“Anthony Davis is clearly a league MVP candidate. ... LeBron James is still that dude. And Russell Westbrook coming off the bench ... I can’t say enough about the job that Russell Westbrook has been doing.” pic.twitter.com/GZ1Ws5vZ6R
Westbrook has had a resurgence for the Lakers this season in his role as the 6th man. Head coach Darvin Ham has done a tremendous job with Westbrook, and he has found his game this season. Trading him away seems unlikely at this point unless another star emerges that Rob Pelinka thinks would be a better fit.
The package of Beverley and Nunn plus draft picks makes more sense for the Lakers. Beverley and Nunn have underperformed in their roles this season, and pairing them in a trade allows LA to match salaries of high-quality contributors.
The names that have been mentioned in exchange for this package include Bojan Bogdanovic, Kyle Kuzma, and PJ Washington.
Bojan Bogdanovic in the Pistons W:— NBA (@NBA) December 7, 2022
7 3PM pic.twitter.com/Uc85n3iNzn
Bogdanovic is the best fit on paper, as he is an elite shooter and would give the Lakers another forward. The 33-year-old veteran is averaging 21 points per game while shooting 51.9% and 44.1% from three. The downside to trading for Bogdanovic is his contract, as he signed a two-year $39 million extension, keeping him under contract through the 2024-25 season. If the Lakers are willing to take on the contract, Bogdanovic would be a great fit around LeBron and AD.
Kyle Kuzma thinks the Lakers would've won back-to-back if it wasn't for injuries.— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) November 30, 2022
Thoughts? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/a2fx9FO8KW
An intriguing candidate is Kuzma, who could have a reunion with the Lakers. Kuz was an integral part of the supporting cast on the 2019-20 championship team. Since his trade to the Washington Wizards, he has taken a jump and become a more well-rounded and better player.
The last candidate is Washington, who is on the rebuilding Charlotte Hornets. He would be a small ball center for LA and is a quality offensive player. Los Angeles could benefit from adding another big to contribute to the rotation.
The front office has some decisions to make as AD has the team rolling. Who you you think the Lakers should pursue, if anyone?