Los Angeles Lakers: Three Trade Ideas

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The Los Angeles Lakers are far too talented to be in the play-in zone for the playoffs. This, of course, is due to having LeBron James and Anthony Davis. That ranks amongst the top duos in the entire league, on paper at least. This team should be solely focused on winning a championship.

The Lakers need to find ways to improve through the trade market. It won’t be easy, however. Russell Westbrook is having a topsy-turvy season, and his contract is virtually untradeable. Several other players are on very small contracts too, making it difficult to match salaries as the Lakers are over the cap.

Los Angeles Lakers: Three Trade Ideas

Two Major Markets Getting Busy

The trade: the Lakers send Talen Horton-Tucker and Sekou Doumbouya to the New York Knicks for Kemba Walker and Obi Toppin.

Walker was supposed to make a major impact in the Knicks’ playoff aspirations. At one point this season, when he was healthy, he was completely out of the Knicks’ rotation. One can assume Walker is certainly available for trade. This comes at the cost of young guard Horton-Tucker for the Lakers, but the Lakers are built to win now. Walker is a veteran who still has plenty to offer and can ease the burden off of Westbrook. Toppin will also provide plenty of depth to the Lakers and will feature as one of the first names off the bench.

New York looks to be in the search of another young guard to add to their ranks. Horton-Tucker fits the mold, and he’s under contract for a while. He’s a solid young piece to add to the rotation in exchange for Walker. Doumbaya can also help replace the frontcourt depth that Toppin leaves open in this trade.

Frontcourt Upgrades

The trade: the Lakers send Horton-Tucker and Wayne Ellington to the Portland Trail Blazers for Robert Covington and Dennis Smith Jr.

Horton-Tucker will be a very useful asset. His talent and contract make him very tradeable. Portland looks to be nearing a rebuild and will go for all the young talent they can get. Anfernee Simons looks to be a rising star, so Portland would be wise to find another young backcourt player to add to the mix. They also get Ellington’s expiring contract.

The Lakers do this to acquire versatile forward Covington. He can play a multitude of positions, defend at a high level, and drain threes. As mentioned earlier, the Lakers are definitely in a win-now mode and can take on Covington’s expiring contract. Smith Jr, formerly a lottery pick, can add a decent dynamic off the bench as well.

Los Angeles Lakers add another Offensive Weapon

The trade: the Lakers send Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, and a second-round pick to the Indiana Pacers for Caris LeVert.

Indiana is nearing a full-on rebuild beginning with a player firesale. LeVert is a very talented offensive weapon, although his fit with the Pacers has never really been defined. This makes him a known commodity on the trade market.

Although Indiana is struggling, LeVert is still averaging about 18 points and four assists per game. He’s on contract for this year and next, so he fits the current Lakers timeline as well.

Indiana can replace LeVert with a young asset in Horton-Tucker. He can grow alongside Malcolm Brogdon, who looks to be the lone starting Pacer not available. Nunn, while in Miami, showed flashes of strong play as well. Lastly, a second-round pick is another asset.

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