The Lakers need to get better. That was made very clear throughout this season.
Ultimately, their loss can be put on injuries, but the Suns series also showed that the Lakers roster isn’t good enough.
They are a great team when everyone performs at the level they did during the 2019-20 playoffs, but how can you expect to continuously compete for a championship when your players are as inconsistent as they are.
Consistency is key when trying to win a championship. If the Lakers are going to want to stay competitive next year, they are going to need to make moves.
What sort of moves? They are going to need to trade for someone who they can count consistently. Someone who won’t rely on having LeBron James on the court with them.
Someone who can knock down their shots but also facilitate for others. Here are 3 trades that would help the Los Angeles Lakers.
1. DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan has picked up recently after a mock trade that places him in LA to the Laker’s rumors. So is there a scenario where the Lakers could acquire DeRozan with a sign and trade? Maybe.
DeRozan would be the best signing possible for the Lakers. He is entering free agency this year, so perhaps a sign and trade would be the best move of their offseason to secure the third star.
When you look at the contenders for a championship, many of them have three players they can depend on. Of course, there are some teams without, but there are many more with.
The Lakers don’t really have a third guy they can depend on to perform on the level of an All-Star. So here’s a look at some of the contenders and their three best players.
- Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker
- Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday
- Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green
- Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid
- Denver Nuggets: Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr
- Utah Jazz: Donavon Mitchell, Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert
If you add the Lakers to that list with James, DeRozan, and Davis, they could become a very formidable big three.
One of the biggest advantages of having three players is how strong your rotation can be.
Surprise, surprise, a team of LeBron James struggles when he goes to the bench. With DeRozan, this wouldn’t be as much of an issue because of how Vogel would control his minutes compared to James.
He is an elite scorer, exactly what the Lakers need. He is a player who can get their own bucket without help, someone who can create his own offense.
DeRozan has one of the best mid-range games in the league. Therefore that makes up for the lack of three-pointers he shoots.
He averaged 21.6 points this season with the San Antonio Spurs, but we already knew he was a capable scorer. The most impressive thing is he averaged 6.9 assists.
He has been an underrated facilitator in the league, but ever since he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs, he has stepped up the playmaking aspect of the game.
DeRozan will keep the Lakers in the game or help them go on a run with his scoring and playmaking. Not to mention his ability to make plays in the clutch.
He would be the perfect acquisition for the Lakers.
2. Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball’s return to the Lakers would be incredible. The move makes a lot more sense than people give it credit.
If the Lakers could sign and trade with the Pelicans and replace Schroder for Lonzo Ball, they would be a much better team. He is a much better playmaker than Schroder and is becoming a reliable shooter in the league.
The improvements he has made since being traded from the Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans have been incredible.
It is a move that makes sense, we know how much Los Angeles means to Ball and his family. So why wouldn’t he want to return?
He still has a good relationship with LeBron James, and it must be hard to be upset over a trade that led to the Lakers winning a championship that very season.
James is becoming more passive, so the Lakers getting another playmaker will thrive even more off the ball. Not only is Ball a terrific playmaker, but he is also a competent defender.
We know how important defense is to this Lakers side, so adding a tall, talented defender who can knock down shots would be a big move.
Although, one thing that could be brought up is his injury issues. The most games he has ever played in a season are 55.
He can pick up injuries throughout a season, and he has also done this with the Lakers. However, staying healthy may be the most important thing for the Lakers’ championship aspirations, so maybe they would want a point guard who is more reliable health-wise.
3. Damian Lillard
Alright, is there a good chance of the Lakers trading for Damian Lillard? Probably not. But there is a small, tiny possibility the Lakers could create one of the best big threes in NBA History.
The Lakers definitely aren’t against having a big three. Their interest in Kawhi Leonard before he joined the Clippers is proof of that.
The question is, do the Lakers have enough to tempt the Blazers? Honestly, there are better potential trade packages in the league.
However, that doesn’t mean the Lakers one is bad. On the contrary, no one in the Lakers is untouchable besides James and Davis, and one of the biggest incentives for this trade would be Kyle Kuzma.
Portland trading Lillard anywhere stops them from competing for a championship. What they are going to need is young talent.
The Lakers have an experience you tale not in Kuzma, who has had to sacrifice his offensive potential for the Lakers so they can play their best basketball.
Put him elsewhere, and he could really thrive. But then, maybe Portland could take the number 22 draft pick, Schroder, Kuzma, and whoever else they wanted.
Schroder would be signed and traded for this move and would be key for salary reasons. He is also a valuable player despite his underwhelming performance in the playoffs this year.
This, of course, could only work if Lillard pushes to join the Lakers. Although, after all he has given to the Portland Trail Blazers. It is hard to think they wouldn’t try their hardest to send him to his preferred destination.
Lillard may be unrealistic right now, especially after he said he expects himself to be in a Portland uniform this coming season.
The move is too good not to cover, though, as he would change the future of any franchise he joins.
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Chris Terrell says:
July 22, 2021 at 9:59 pm
Lebron has his spots and has improved his 3 point shooting over the years but teams historically have always tried to put shooting around him to be successful. Anthony Davis is an unbelievable talent and multi-dimensional at that on both ends. What he is not is a high volume 40% three point shooter. So usage wise most of the Lakers attempts with these two guys come from the paint and midrange. What they need to be effective, like any offense, is adequate spacing so the stats have room to work. You somehow completely ignore this obvious fact and your top two ideas for a trade are guys that struggle with their 3 point shot. Makes zero sense. Leave it to the GMs who understand floor balance a little better.
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