Trades Lakers Can Pivot to Now that Kyrie Was Traded To Mavs
Lakers fans had their hopes up when Kyrie Irving requested a trade out of Brooklyn. Despite making an offer to the Nets, they opted to take the Mavericks deal, as it included a point guard and wing.
So, what’s next for Rob Pelinka and the front office with Irving off the board? The Western Conference remains wide open, with only four games separating the Lakers in 13th place from the 4th seed.
With Anthony Davis back healthy and the addition of Rui Hachimura, LA could make a playoff push. One more move could make them contenders out West, as there is little separation in the conference. It was reported that they believe they are 'one piece away' from being title contenders.
The trade market is still active, and the Lakers can make a move to upgrade their roster. While it might not be a star like Kyrie, it could be a piece that fits well.
The Lakers, Heat, Knicks and Mavericks have consistently been mentioned by league personnel as holding motivations to land Zach LaVine if Chicago moves him, per @JakeLFischer pic.twitter.com/2iCSBH19J4— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) February 2, 2023
There are different avenues that Pelinka can take. One option is making a big move and trading away Russell Westbrook for multiple role players or hoping for another star to become available. Zach LaVine is a name to watch if they decide to go for another star.
However, a more realistic package for Westbrook could be a package from the Hornets, including Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre, and PJ Washington. This would give LA more depth, and they have had discussions with Charlotte.
They have also been in discussions with the Jazz, which could include players like Mike Conley, Malik Beasley, Rudy Gay, and Jarred Vanderbilt.
It was reported that the Lakers are concerned about playing Westbrook in the playoffs due to his fit, so a trade could make sense.
If Pelinka decides to stick with Westbrook, the 6th Man of the Year frontrunner, they could use a package of Patrick Beverley, picks, and possibly Lonnie Walker IV.
Beverley has picked up his play of late, and Walker IV has been a good young player. However, they are both on expiring contracts and could be moved in a trade package.
Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet, if that trade is possible, address both needs.— Sam Quinn (@SamQuinnCBS) February 5, 2023
OG Anunoby addresses both needs.
Having three stars would've made the Lakers really dangerous, but star power is not what they ever actually needed. It was and remains good, solid role players.
With this package, the ideal target is Gary Trent Jr. The 24-year-old sharpshooter is a perfect 3&D fit and could slot in as the starting shooting guard. Trent Jr. is a free agent at the end of the season and could command upwards of $20 million per season.
Other Raptors that LA could target include Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby.
Toronto could be sellers at the deadline as they sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.
They could also make an offer for Indiana’s Buddy Hield or San Antonio’s Doug McDermott. Trent Jr. is the ideal player left for the Lakers, as he would be an excellent fit, bringing elite shooting and defense while being a young player that could help now and down the line.
Pelinka and the front office have a lot to think about as the February 9th trade deadline is approaching quickly. If you were the general manager, who would you target with Kyrie off the board?