Should The Lakers Pursue Bradley Beal?
It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers have gotten off to a poor start.
The roster construction has been questioned by many fans, and for good reason. While the Lakers moved away from a veteran team to younger role players, they still lack shooting. With a slow start to the season, trade rumors have been popping up for the Lakers.
NBA insider Chris Haynes reported that the Lakers are interested in Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal. Beal would have to request a trade for this to be a possibility for LA.
The 29-year-old is one of the better scorers in the NBA, but is he the right fit for the Lakers?
Well, Los Angeles has tried the big three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, which has yet to bring success. Westbrook’s move to the 6th man role has been highly beneficial, but LA still lacks the depth they had in the 2020 championship season.
In 2020, the Lakers built a roster with great depth around the star duo of James and Davis, which worked exceptionally well. Before the 2021-22 season, the Lakers decided to shift in the direction of acquiring another star in Westbrook, trading away high-quality role players.
This move has not panned out for the Lakers, as their depth continues to be an issue. Even with Dennis Schroder and Thomas Bryant set to make their season debuts soon, LA needs more depth. So, while Beal would be a better-fitting third star to have around James and Davis, the Lakers would still lack the necessary depth to go toe-to-toe with the top teams in the league.
If you look at the most recent champions like the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, and Lakers in 2020, all of these teams had depth. Golden State had Stephen Curry as their superstar and had lower-tier stars around him like Klay Thompson, as well as high-quality role players like Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Jordan Poole, and more. The Bucks built their roster around superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, with Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday as the complimentary stars. They then had role players like Bobby Portis, P.J. Tucker, Brook Lopez, and more to round out the roster.
The Lakers have a slightly different scenario than Golden State and Milwaukee, as they have two top-ten players in James and Davis when both are healthy. Having a third star around them is not necessary, as the team would much rather thrive on tremendous depth like they did in the championship season and even the following season before the star duo suffered injuries. Any trade the Lakers make will likely involve Westbrook and one or two of their draft picks (2027 and 2029 first-round picks), but a move for Beal wouldn’t solve their issue of depth.
A trade with the Indiana Pacers for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner would make a lot more sense. Hield is one of the premier three-point shooters in the league, which is what the Lakers desperately need. Turner is a good center that can defend the paint and shoot the three ball well for a big. Turner would also allow Davis to return to the power forward position, which he prefers to play.
Although the name and star power of Beal is enticing, it is not the best deal on the table for the Lakers. Rob Pelinka and the Lakers' front office will need to work quickly if they want to salvage the season, as they are off to an abysmal start.