The Los Angeles Lakers are the 2020 NBA Champions, but they aren’t looking to be complacent in their pursuit of talent this offseason.
With the Western Conference getting better, and LeBron James only getting older, the Lakers need to continue to get better if they want to stay ahead in the race for the 2021 title.
Fortunately, the No. 28 pick they have in the upcoming draft can be used in a trade to bring in some reinforcements. Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report recently listed some possible returns for that pic, which includes Derrick Rose, J.J. Redick, and Myles Turner.
Rose, 32, would give the Lakers another ball-handler in the backcourt. For the Pistons, they clear some cap and get the chance to build up their young talent with a draft pick.
“A base trade of veteran point guard Derrick Rose to the Lakers for the No. 28 pick would make sense for both sides, giving the Lakers a playmaker and scorer off the bench with 46 games of playoff experience. Getting Rose would mean being able to rest James a bit more, with his ability to drop 20 off the bench on any given night likely exceeding what rookies such as Winston or Pritchard could provide in year one.”
In New Orleans, Zion Williamson is the future, which means the Pelicans are going to be building around him. At 36-years-old, Redick doesn’t necessarily fit Zion’s timeline — but he could definitely work in LA, as a three-point sniper alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard JJ Redick—one of the best three-point shooters in the league, who averaged 15.3 points on 45.3 percent shooting from deep at age 36—would be a perfect fit next to James.
Myles Turner isn’t a huge difference-maker, but his presence would definitely be an improvement in the frontcourt for LA. He averaged 12 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game on 45.7% shooting this past season.
Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers—a 24-year-old on an $18 million annual deal who has shown the ability to be an elite rim protector and hit on 35.7 percent of his career three-pointers—would be a dream target at center. An offer of Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green and the No. 28 overall pick should be attractive for both sides, as the Pacers previously traded their 2020 first-rounder to the Milwaukee Bucks in a sign-and-trade deal for Malcolm Brogdon.
So long as the Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they’ll be competing for Championships. That is a core that can stay competitive for years.
Still, repeating is never easy and it’s clear that LA will have to make a move if they want to maximize their chances of winning another title in the LeBron James era.
Whether they end up trading that pick or not, you can expect them to be very active in the weeks to come.