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Potential Trade Targets For Los Angeles Lakers To Consider

The Los Angeles Lakers will need to be aggressive ahead of the trade deadline this season if they are to make the playoffs and be a contending threat.

LeBron James continues to play like one of the greatest players in the league and he is about to turn 38-years-old. However, LeBron can not carry the Los Angeles Lakers on his own and that seems to be the case right now.

Anthony Davis has been great when healthy, but that’s the thing, Davis has struggled remaining healthy and he is currently sidelined with a foot injury!

Even with both James and Davis on the floor together, the Lakers are just 8-11.

These are very concerning times for the Lakers as an organization right now simply because they have no cap flexibility and they have very little trade assets to play around with.

Russell Westbrook continues to be this team’s path to bringing in another big, All-Star name given that Westbrook is making close to $47 million this season, but many teams around the league are not wanting to trade for the nine-time All-Star in the final year of his contract.

So where do the Lakers go from here?

Los Angeles has some big decisions to make, as Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn are both players the Lakers could trade to try and upgrade their roster, yet in doing so, they may have to surrender one of their two first-round picks they still own.

Having just two first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, the Lakers are in trouble looking at the future simply because they don’t have a means to building a sustainable, long-term core.

This trade deadline will be very important for the Lakers and what they decide to do will be very telling as to what is in store for this franchise looking ahead.

If they look to prioritize winning right now and doing everything they can to maximize LeBron James’ value and time he has left in his career, these are some names the Lakers could consider pursuing ahead of the trade deadline.

Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic - Chicago Bulls

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The Chicago Bulls are a mess right now and it seems like they are one bad week away from blowing things up. Conversations of what to do have been ongoing in Chicago’s front-office and yet nobody around the league seems to know what is going to happen with the Bulls.

Lonzo Ball’s injury continues to cast doubt on the current state of this franchise and currently sitting outside the Top-10 in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls have their own problems to figure out about what to do moving forward.

If they continue to sit below .500 for the season trending towards the trade deadline, there is a real belief around the league that the Bulls will be looking to sell and gather as many assets for the future as they can.

Should Chicago be “open for business,” the Lakers must show interest in all three of their All-Stars, especially DeMar DeRozan.

Having a true playmaker and scorer like DeRozan alongside James and Davis would open things up tremendously for the Lakers offensively, as would having LaVine on the perimeter as someone who could play off-the-ball.

Any scenario with the Bulls though would likely require the Lakers to give up their two future draft assets, as well as potentially finding a third team for an added first-round pick to go back to Chicago.

Going after a big star is possible for the Lakers, however, Los Angeles is limited in terms of what they can offer.

Russell Westbrook, two first-round picks and either Patrick Beverley or Kendrick Nunn would be on the move, but how appealing is this package to a team that would be starting a rebuild like the Bulls?

Sure, they get cap space from Westbrook’s and Beverley’s expiring deals, but is that enough to wait around for two future first-round picks in 2027 and 2029?

LaVine, Vucevic and DeRozan are three players the Lakers must look to pursue if available, but it is just hard to imagine that Chicago views what Los Angeles has as “assets.”

Kyle Kuzma - Washington Wizards


Kyle Kuzma is a terrific combo forward in this league. 

For some reason, the Lakers thought it would be a good idea to trade him along with other key assets from their 2019-20 championship team in order to get Russell Westbrook.

Getting Kuzma back would be a big win for the Lakers given his talents and the fact that he is only 27-years-old, but once again, there are question marks attached to any trade scenario here for the Lakers.

Salary-wise, they could put together a package of Beverley and Nunn for Kuzma, but it is highly unlikely the Washington Wizards will find that kind of deal appealing.

There is a sense of belief that Washington will be willing to listen to offers for Kuzma, but HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported recently that the Wizards consider Kuzma “a big part of the future” for their organization.

There really is no clarity on if the Wizards would be willing to deal Kyle Kuzma, who is expected to opt out of his contract following the conclusion of this season.

Going out and pursuing Kuzma is definitely a possibility for the Lakers, however, it would probably cost them close to the same amount of assets that they would have to offer up for players like Zach LaVine or Nikola Vucevic from the Bulls.

Los Angeles really never should have traded Kuzma because he was such an essential part of their second-wave of scoring outside of Davis and James.

Josh Richardson, Doug McDermott, Jakob Poeltl - San Antonio Spurs


When looking at some scenarios the Lakers could consider outside of the realm of trading Russell Westbrook and their entire future, Los Angeles should look no further than the San Antonio Spurs, a young, rebuilding franchise in the Western Conference.

The only thing the Spurs are contending for is the top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft in order to draft Victor Wembanyama, which is why they will be open for business ahead of the deadline.

Some key names to watch for the Spurs in trade talks are Josh Richardson, Jakob Poeltl and Doug McDermott, all of which could instantly help the Lakers.

Both Richardson and McDermott are key three-point shooters on the wing that could fill a major hole for the Lakers offensively and the advantage of trading for someone like Richardson is the fact that he is an experienced player.

Josh Richardson is now in his 8th NBA season and for years now, he has been a consistent secondary scorer and ball-handler.

In the case of Jakob Poeltl, his value is currently the highest and the Spurs would likely want a first-round pick for him at this point.

Going out and trading for Poeltl to put in the frontcourt in place of Anthony Davis for the time being and then pairing him with Davis when he returns from injury is definitely advantageous to the Lakers, as this move would make them a significantly better rebounding team.

The problem here though is that Poeltl is in the final year of his contract and would likely demand anywhere from $14 million to $18 million per year on a new deal in the offseason.

Is this something the Lakers want to tie themselves down to, especially since Poeltl’s upside on the offensive-end of the floor is limited?

He would absolutely be a key secondary talent for Los Angeles, but it is hard to imagine that Jakob Poeltl joins the Lakers and instantly makes them a playoff threat. For that reason alone is why Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott are better targets for them in a deal that would unload the contracts of Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn. 

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