The Los Angeles Lakers are already making moves to secure their second NBA title under the LeBron James and Anthony Davis era. Reports indicate that the Lakers have moved Danny Green and the 28th pick in the NBA Draft for speedy point guard Dennis Schroder. This move bolsters the Lakers backcourt and gives LeBron James a primary ballhandler to trust with the ball. Overall, the Lakers are making it clear that they will not settle for just the 2019 NBA title.
But that isn’t the only move the Lakers can make. They still have a ton of moveable assets, including Kyle Kuzma, who can be packaged for a strong acquisition to ensure a second straight NBA Finals appearance. With Draft Night looming and teams preparing for a chance to shape their franchise for the foreseeable future, here are the 3 trades the Lakers can make to begin the path for a repeat.
3. J.J. Redick
Trade Package: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Sign and Trade), Alex Caruso for J.J. Redick
This deal would upgrade the Lakers shooting immediately. Danny Green is now out of town which means the streaky Kentavious Caldwell- Pope will be starting. In a nutshell, Caldwell-Pope is not as good a shooter as Redick, meaning LeBron and Davis don’t have a trustworthy shooter alongside them right now. Redick shot 45.3% from three this year and would make the Lakers more potent on offense and especially more deadly in the clutch.
Redick is a master at moving off screens for jumpers and gives the Clippers more versatility on offense when the defense focuses on LeBron James and Anthony Davis. With the amount of playmaking on the floor for the Lakers, Redick will have complete freedom of movement which means plenty of swishes are on the way to Los Angeles.
2. Zach LaVine
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Sign and Trade), Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook for Zach LaVine
LaVine is developing into a big-time player because he has shown the ability to lead his team in scoring spectacularly, using athleticism and offensive prowess to his advantage. LaVine is a knockdown shooter from deep, can attack the rim with athleticism and is a fan favorite dunker.
His style of play suits Los Angeles greatly, and he will be a very valuable piece to the Lakers if they can acquire him. Kyle Kuzma has not been the third “star” the Lakers expected, and LaVine can immediately step into that role even with Schroder’s arrival. Kuzma is a good piece for Chicago to build around because he isn’t fit for the Lakers right now while LaVine’s outside shooting and scoring ability will certainly help the Lakers repeat next year.
1. DeMar DeRozan
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Sign and Trade), Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook for DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan is still a very effective shooting guard in the NBA. Since becoming an All-Star, he has been the focal point of his team’s offense for both the Raptors and the Spurs. The Raptors utilized him in many isolation scenarios where he can take his man one-on-one, normally resulting in a bucket. The Spurs also helped improve his overall game where his passing and rebounding leaped.
DeRozan’s strong mid-range game and excellent slashing abilities make him an effective player in a system that needs more versatility on offense. DeRozan can still get you buckets, as evidenced by his 22.1 PPG average on an excellent 53.1% shooting last season.
There had already been rumors of DeRozan’s arrival in Los Angeles, which makes him the most likely target on Draft Night. DeRozan’s stops with Toronto and San Antonio showed how he can’t be the number one guy on the team to win a championship but he doesn’t have to be with the Lakers. DeRozan can be extremely effective as the third option on the team and his All-Star scoring ability will make the Lakers the absolute favorites for repeating next year.