The Los Angeles Lakers have been the best team in the NBA this season. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have led the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference during the regular season and were equally as dominant in the postseason. With 4-1 victories in each of the first 3 rounds and then a 4-2 victory over Miami in the Finals, the Lakers are on course to repeat next year.
But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t make any trades. LeBron and Davis are untouchables, and guys like Rajon Rondo and even Dwight Howard have earned their spot on the squad due to big-time performances. The Lakers can make major moves to acquire another quality player to retain their throne as the kings of the NBA. Luckily, there are quite a few realistic trades the Lakers can go after to ensure they go back-to-back next year.
Here are the most ideal and realistic targets for the Los Angeles Lakers.
10. J.J. Redick
Trade Package: Danny Green, Alex Caruso, 2020 first-round pick for J.J. Redick
This deal would upgrade the Lakers roster immediately. Danny Green is a much better defensive player than Redick, but at some point, he will start showing age. While his defensive prowess wanes, his shooting has already begun declining. Green cannot be trusted to make shots consistently, something Redick never struggles with. Redick shot 45.3% from three this year and would make the Lakers more potent on offense.
9. Jrue Holiday
Trade Package: Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, 2020 first-round pick for Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday has consistently been one of the most underrated players in the NBA. He is one of the best defensive guards in the NBA and can score the ball at a decent rate. Holiday can play both guard positions and is a clear upgrade over both Danny Green and KCP. Holiday averaged 19.1 PPG and 6.7 APG on 45.5% shooting this year, making him a fringe All-Star and a player who can help the Lakers repeat next season without a doubt.
8. Dennis Schroder
Trade Package: Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for Dennis Schroder
Dennis Schroder has been recognized as one of the best 6th men in the NBA for a while now, and his value certainly was shown this year against the Houston Rockets in the first round. Schroder was unstoppable offensively and is a lightning bolt in a bottle when he has the ball.
Schroder could be due for a role as a starter again, for the first time since the Atlanta Hawks days, and the Lakers could acquire a legitimate 3rd star to help them repeat. Schroder averaged 18.9 PPG and 4.0 APG this season, making him a big-time target for LA.
7. Spencer Dinwiddie
Trade Package: Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 2020 first-round pick for Spencer Dinwiddie
Spencer Dinwiddie was so close to being an All-Star, that even Kobe Bryant thought he was at some point. Besides being a massive Kobe Bryant fan, Dinwiddie is an explosive scorer who is a legitimate starting guard in this league. Dinwiddie averages 20.6 PPG and 6.8 APG this season and should be able to replicate his performances again next season.
The Lakers need better guard play from someone not named Playoff Rondo, and Dinwiddie immediately gives the Lakers that. For the package that the Nets might accept, this is a no-brainer for the Lakers.
6. Evan Fournier
Trade Package: Danny Green, 2020 first-round pick for Evan Fournier
Evan Fournier goes through the motions, but he can be trusted to drop at least 20 points a night when he is playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Orlando Magic keep making the playoffs with Fournier as their best perimeter player, so imagine what he can do with 2 superstars clearing space for him.
Fournier averaged 18.5 PPG on 46.7% shooting this season, clearly above-average numbers. The Lakers should go after Fournier because Orlando only will request a package that the Lakers are willing to sacrifice for better scoring options on the wing.
5. Buddy Hield
Trade Package: Alex Caruso, Danny Green, 2020 first-round pick for Buddy Hield
Buddy Hield is one of the hottest prospects in the NBA because he is a dead-eye shooter. In today’s NBA, shooting is the key to success on offense and Hield was born to shoot the basketball. He averaged 19.2 PPG on 39.4% shooting from three this season, while his all-around play took a massive jump as well.
With the right coach and talent around him, Hield can be a very impactful player as he grows. There isn’t a better player to learn from than LeBron James, because he makes everyone around him better and also will be the catalyst for many open looks for Buddy.
4. Kevin Love
Trade Package: Alex Caruso, Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 2020 first-round pick for Kevin Love
NBA fans have been wanting to see a LeBron James and Kevin Love reunion for a while now, and this coming season might deliver that. Kevin Love is still a quality player, averaging 17.6 PPG and 9.8 RPG this season and he is a perfect fit alongside Anthony Davis because he can space the floor as a stretch big.
Love has shown he can win alongside LeBron James and can be trusted to be a valuable third option thanks to his shooting and rebounding. While LeBron James and Kyrie Irving got all the credit, the Cavaliers do not win the 2016 title without Kevin Love. Love is a championship level player and the Lakers boost their chance of repeating if they make a move for him.
3. Victor Oladipo
Trade Package: Danny Green, Alex Caruso, 2020 first-round pick for Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo came back in this year’s playoffs after his injury, although he was just there to get as many shots up as possible and get his rhythm back. The Indiana Pacers had no shot against the Miami Heat in the playoffs this year, so Oladipo got a few runs at playing time which was refreshing to see. But Victor Oladipo is an All-Star when healthy.
In fact, he can be the third piece to a Los Angeles Lakers Big Three that can win it all again next year. Oladipo can shut down opposing guards, play off the ball on offense, and is a very strong scorer when he has the ball. He can relieve pressure off of LeBron James with his playmaking as well and can be trusted in the clutch. Oladipo is absolutely a star that the Lakers should target this year.
2. Derrick Rose
Trade Package: Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook, 2020 first-round pick for Derrick Rose
A lot of names are thrown into the mix for the Los Angeles Lakers, but Derrick Rose should be among the top of the list. He is exactly what the Lakers need, as both a primary playmaker and a secondary scorer. Rose averaged 18.1 PPG and 5.6 APG in his best season in years for the Detroit Pistons. Rose looked healthy and happy playing at a high level again, which is a blessing for all NBA fans.
The NBA is a great place when Derrick Rose is playing well because he brings a ton of excitement with his explosiveness and finishing at the rim. Rose can create a Big Three in LA due to his playing style and charisma on the floor and will be the third star the Lakers have been craving all year.
1. Chris Paul
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 2027 first-round pick for Chris Paul
With Chris Paul at the helm, the Lakers add one of the greatest floor generals in NBA history to relieve the pressure off of an aging LeBron James. Chris Paul performed at an All-NBA level again this season and will be looking to have one more push for a chance at an NBA title. It would be a darn shame if Paul never plays in the Finals because he is too legendary as a point guard to not have a single appearance.
If it means getting Chris Paul for a year or two at an All-NBA level, moving on from disappointing Kyle Kuzma and other role players is a no-brainer. Paul is an immediate upgrade for the Lakers and quite honestly, there probably isn’t a team that could beat them 4 times out of 7 in a playoff series. Paul would give the Lakers too much experience, leadership, and scoring that would overwhelm teams.