The Los Angeles Lakers are back in contention once again. After several seasons of mediocrity, the Lakers currently look poised to win a championship this season. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis surrounded by amazing role players, the Lakers are 15-2, have won 8 straight games, and have the best record in the league. The scariest part about this is that this team isn’t playing their best basketball yet.
Despite this hot start, the Lakers have had some issues on offense as they are the 13th best offense in the league, scoring 111.9 points per game and the 17th ranked three-point shooting team in the league at 35.5%.
Many players on the team have struggled with shooting this season and fit this season but, they are still the best team in the league. For the Lakers to fix their offensive problems, changes may have to be made and these changes would be aggressive ones. Here are 5 players who the Lakers could target.
Schroder has had an okay start to the season thus far. Through 15 games this season, he is averaging 14.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game on 43.4% shooting from the field and 26.2% shooting from three. These stats are pedestrian but, playing on a contending team would help to improve his play.
On the Lakers, Schroder would play more off-ball alongside LeBron and that area is somewhere where he has found success this season. On catch-and-shoot shots this year, he is shooting 43.2% from the field and 40% from three. Also, Dennis is shooting 47.8% from the field and 37.8% from three when he takes 0 dribbles before a shot. The Lakers are playing at a slow pace this year at 100.28, which is the 7th worst in the league. This slow pace should be beneficial to Dennis as when the shot clock is between 15-7 seconds left, he is shooting 42.2% from the field and 37.9% from three.
Dennis would mainly provide the Lakers with scoring off the bench and improve an area where the Lakers are struggling as they are only averaging 34.7 points off the bench which is good for 9th worst in the league. Pairing Schroder alongside Kyle Kuzma will give you a great 1-2 punch off the bench and Schroder would take minutes away from Rajon Rondo, who hasn’t played well since returning from his injury.
Trading for Schroder would be difficult for the Lakers due to his hefty contract, he is currently making 17.5 million dollars this season, and due to their limited amount of assets. If they were to try and acquire Schroder, players such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Quinn Cook, and Troy Daniels would have to be included as well as multiple 2nd-round picks.
Crowder is having a bounce-back season this year and it looks as if he has found a home in Memphis. Through 15 games this year, he is averaging 10.6 points per game and a career-high in both rebounds per game and assists per game with 6.1 and 3, respectively. He is also shooting 42.2% from the field, 35.8% from three, and a career-high 60.6% on 2-point shots.
Similar to Schroder, Crowder would be great in the slow tempo offense that the Lakers have as he is shooting 54% from the field and 51.4% from three when there are 15-7 seconds left in the shot clock. Crowder’s worth comes on the defensive side of the ball and despite the Lakers having a high-rated defense, 6th rated defense, you can always get better.
Again, similar to Schroder, trading for Crowder would be difficult as the Grizzlies as they have shown no intention of doing so. A trade for Crowder would also be similar to the one of Schroder.
Iguodala has been linked to the Lakers since the offseason and would be the ideal target for them. Iggy has yet to play a game this season as he is away from the Grizzlies until they can find a trade partner for him but, this bodes well for the Lakers.
Iggy, even at the age of 35, can be a great 3-D player off the bench for the Lakers. Andre was a vital part of the Warriors’ success and while on the team, he won 3 championships in 6 seasons as well as won Finals MVP in 2015. Iggy’s impact is seen in the playoffs as this is when he improves his play and has shot above 35% from three in the playoffs in 5 out of his 6 seasons in the Bay Area.
A potential trade for Andre Iguodala would more than likely involve multiple players from the Lakers, as well as multiple 2nd round picks, or a future 1st round pick.
Bertans would be an ideal fit for the Lakers and someone who they should pursue. Bertans is having the best season so far in his young NBA career, averaging 13.1 points per game on 46% shooting from the field, 44.3% from three, and 91.7% from the free-throw line.
Bertans is a big reason as to why the Wizards have the 2nd best offense in the league as they are currently averaging 119.1 points per game and has been a bright spot on a team that has struggled to win games. Bertans was traded to the Washington Wizards this past offseason for cap relief and it looks as if the Wizards have won the trade.
Bertans has been scorching hot from three this year and has played exceptionally well off the ball. On catch-and-shoot shots this season, he is shooting 44.6% from three while taking 6.2 catch-and-shoot threes a game. Bertans is the perfect complementary player alongside LeBron James and would open up the offense more than a player like KCP would. The Lakers could form a deadly, late-game lineup with LeBron, Danny Green, Bertans, Kyle Kuzma, and Anthony Davis. This lineup would give LeBron James 3 deadly shooters on the wings and the pick-and-roll with him and A.D. could create mismatches.
Despite his hot start for the Wizards, trading Bertans looks to be in the realm of possibility for the Wizards. This team doesn’t look as if they will make the playoffs as their defense is dead-last in the league and if they do, they will more than likely be swept or lose in 5 games. It would be smart for the Wizards to use their trade assets to acquire future picks/assets to build a foundation around Bradley Beal. Also, Bertans is a free agent at the end of this year and he should be in for a big payday. It would be smart for the Wizards to look to trade him now rather than lose him in free agency.
Again, a potential trade would involve KCP and multiple 2nd-round picks as well as a future first-round pick for the Lakers.
Despite his recent struggles, Anderson would be an ideal fit for the Lakers. Ryan Anderson has played poorly over the last year. Anderson had a good shooting season for the Rockets in the 2017-18 season where he shot 38.6% from three. Anderson has struggled with injuries over the last 2 years and this may be a reason for his poor shooting. Also, he was playing on a rebuilding Suns team and an iso-heavy Rockets team. On the Lakers, he can be a great off-ball shooter and should be able to provide a spark off the bench when needed.
Anderson is a free agent so you wouldn’t have to give up any assets to sign him.
The biggest issue for the Lakers currently is their lack of assets and with KCP playing well as of recent as well as having a no-trade clause, it would be hard to convince him to accept a trade from a team poised to win a championship this season. With this in mind, the Lakers should look at the buy-out market to add shooters to their roster.