One Trade The Lakers Must Make Immediately
The Lakers have shown flashes of being a top team in the league but are in desperate need of making a move after an 11-16 start.
On their long road trip, the Lakers defeated the Bucks, who are among the true championship contenders. LA also had a comeback that fell just short against the 76ers as Austin Reaves, and Anthony Davis both missed key free throws in the final seconds.
The latest heart-wrenching loss was against the NBA's best Celtics last night.
The Celtics rally late and outlast the Lakers in OT‼️ pic.twitter.com/8HmuV6V5Wc— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 14, 2022
LA could not hold on to their second-half push as a shortened six-man rotation led the players to grow tired. Almost every playoff-caliber team around the league has a nine to ten man rotation that they can trust.
LA has shown that they are close to being over the hump, and some moves to improve their depth would go a long way.
Haynes is saying the Lakers are hoping to use the 2 picks together for a star, or in 2 separate deals to bring back even more depth. Initially, they hadn’t planned on making any trade until AD forced their hand— Lakers Supply 🇺🇦🌻 (@LakersSupply) December 14, 2022
The Lakers have had multiple players in trade rumors if they make a move, including Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn, Patrick Beverley, and their two first-round picks. Beverley and Nunn are the likely trade candidates as they have struggled, while Westbrook has played well in his 6th man role.
Los Angeles has multiple targets, including Bojan Bogdanovic, Kyle Kuzma, Cam Reddish, and Evan Fournier.
Bogdanovic would be the best fit for the Lakers as he would give them size at forward and be a knockdown shooter and scorer. However, his price is high, and the Pistons don’t seem ready to move him.
“The Lakers have personally reached out to the Wizards about trading for Kyle Kuzma.” 👀— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) December 14, 2022
(Via @ChrisBHaynes) pic.twitter.com/8cjxVGN3zU
The former Laker Kyle Kuzma would be another forward and scorer for LA to acquire. Washington values Kuzma highly, and it would be another difficult move for the Lakers to pull off.
The New York Knicks tandem of Fournier and Reddish would be the most attainable players for LA, giving them increased depth, with two players coming in return. The weakest part of the Lakers team is their lack of depth at wing and Fournier, and Reddish would both slot into the rotation and fill that role. Fournier and Reddish are both 6’7’’, giving the Lakers the size they need.
The Lakers called the Knicks and talked about Cam Reddish but it seems they’re more interested in Evan Fournier.— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) December 14, 2022
(Via @ChrisBHaynes) pic.twitter.com/O06cIqbBpO
Fournier and Reddish have fallen out of the Knicks rotation and are likely to be moved to their next team. Fournier was very productive as a sharpshooter in 80 games last season, averaging 14 points while shooting 41.7% and 38.9% from three. His shooting ability could be a spark for LA around James and Davis.
Reddish is a younger player that has shown flashes throughout his career as a 3&D forward. A new team and opportunity are just what he needs to become a rotational contributor again.
Trading away Nunn, Beverley, and Damian Jones would make the salaries match for this deal, but LA would have to include one or two first-round picks.
The Lakers would also get an extra roster spot that they could use in the buyout market to acquire additional depth.
If Rob Pelinka truly wants to buy in and turn this season around, he should call up the Knicks and make the deal happen.