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Four Los Angeles Lakers Trades to Improve the Team

| January 28, 2020 1:27 am PDT
4 Star Players the Lakers Need to Trade For

Now feels like a weird time to write about anything in the sports world. The untimely death of Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant is both shocking and horrifying.

This is what the word “tragic” was meant to define.

Any passing of life is difficult to hear about, but the Lakers star’s death reminds everyone of how precious life really is. It also robbed the sports world of one of the brightest athletic presences we’ve seen, and it did it far too soon.

Bryant exited this world with his 13-year-old daughter and seven other individuals that will all be missed, which only compounds such a difficult, unexplainable loss.

While brutal in every possible way, the Lake Show will have to rally around each other and find a way to move on. That feels borderline impossible in a year where Kobe Bryant’s legendary shadow hovered over the entire organization.

It was literally the day prior to Bryant’s tragic death that LeBron James passed him on the NBA’s career scoring list. The Black Mamba was gracious in this so-called defeat, with his last social media imprint being a congratulations on Twitter.

Perhaps that illustrates Kobe Bryant as well as anything possibly could.

A man of his stature could perpetually make everything about him. But in his final moments, he was issuing congratulations, he was thinking of others, and he was escorting his daughter to a basketball game.

It will take time, but eventually, the Lakers will have to look to the future. Their 2019-20 season goal remains unchanged — to bring a title back to La La Land.

Kobe wouldn’t want this team to stop fighting on account of him, and knowing LeBron James and company, I don’t think they will. Instead, Bryant’s death could fuel their drive even more.

If married with the right trade, the Lakers could go from title favorites (+250 at BetOnline) to absolute locks.

Here are 4 star players the Lakers need to trade for.

Bradley Beal, SG, Wizards

The Lakers are in a great spot and appear capable of winning the title as they stand. That said, they lack a reliable scorer beyond LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

It’s quite possible they need one more star to hammer home a title.

Bradley Beal makes sense as an elite perimeter player that could cement this team as a championship lock. In the brutal Western Conference, that may just be necessary.

It’d take a lot to land Beal, but combining the contracts of Danny Green, Avery Bradley, JaVale McGee, Quinn Cook, and perhaps even Kyle Kuzma could get the deal done.

Beal has expressed frustration recently with the Wizards. If he wants out, it’s possible the Wiz would be open to bringing in a big haul like this.

Zach LaVine, SG, Bulls

This one could make a little more sense, as the Bulls remain in rebuilding mode and could potentially decide that LaVine is the sacrifice they need to make to get better.

That is a tough pill to swallow when you consider how good of a scorer he is (25.3 points per game at the time of this writing). However, LaVine hasn’t translated his scoring prowess into much winning, and Chicago’s collection of talent hasn’t been able to realize its potential.

With Coby White pushing for a bigger role, the Bulls brass could dangle LaVine in hopes they can acquire even more assets.

LA doesn’t have much in the way of draft picks to offer, but sending Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Alex Caruso, and Kyle Kuzma their way could get a deal done.

Derrick Rose, PG, Pistons

Okay, so Beal and LaVine are reaches. They’re guys worth aiming high for, however, while their respective organizations have to at least consider trade packages given how things have gone to this point.

Someone that’s much more realistic for the Lakers is Rose. Enjoying a fantastic season in Detroit, Rose is at risk of wasting away his last few good years in the NBA for a losing franchise.

Rose would fix LA’s bench issues, and due to a modest salary, it may not take much to get him. A package of Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee, and Talen Horton-Tucker could get the job done.

Whatever the deal ends up being, we know Rose could be a good fit and that the Lakers may already have interest.

J.J. Redick, SG, Pelicans

Would the New Orleans Pelicans actually do another deal with the devil? It’s impossible to know, but the Pels are far from locks to make the NBA playoffs and could opt for a little more defensive depth on the perimeter.

The Lakers need the opposite. Redick would supply fantastic scoring and outside shooting and would serve as a cheap third option behind King James and The Brow.

It’s unclear what Redick wants, but finally latching on with a true title contender has to be something he’s interested in. If the Lakers dangle KCP, Avery Bradley, and perhaps an attractive asset like Kyle Kuzma or future picks, perhaps this deal is possible.

Other Trades the Lakers Could Make

Instead of just cramming a fifth player here, let’s consider all of the other viable “lesser” options that could give the Lakers a mild boost.

After all, LA is already favored to win it all this year. They may really only need one small move to solidify their stance as the title favorites.

With that, they could be eyeing more approachable trade options like these.

  • Malik Monk, SG, Hornets
  • Dion Waiters, SG, Heat
  • Dennis Smith Jr., PG, Knicks
  • Davis Bertans, PF, Wizards
  • Alec Burks, SG, Warriors
  • Dillon Brooks, SG, Grizzlies

I’m sure there are other Lakers trades that could happen, both big and small. However, Monk, Waiters, and DSJ specifically are solid scorers who could all use a change of scenery.

Golden State and Memphis probably love what they’ve seen out of Burks and Brooks, but with both on expiring deals, it isn’t wild to consider those franchises getting what they can from them now.

The same can be said for Bertans.

All of these players lend shooting and an offensive spark — both of which the Lakers could use as they look to contend for a title this season.

It’s far more likely that the Lakers try to swing a less damaging (and more realistic) deal for one of the players in the final section of this post.

One way or another, the Lakers know they have room for a little improvement. Keeping up with that Mamba Mentality, I won’t be at all shocked to see this franchise continue to be aggressive and nail one of these trades.

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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