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3 Blockbuster Trades The Los Angeles Lakers Must Avoid This Offseason

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The Lakers have an opportunity to salvage this roster despite the mistakes the team made during the last offseason. Last year, the Lakers thought the best move was to acquire Russell Westbrook to form a big three with Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Ultimately, that decision failed as the Lakers missed the playoffs. With $47 million tied to Westbrook, $44 million tied to LeBron James, and $37 million to Anthony Davis, there are concerns about how the Lakers are going to fill the roster with young and athletic players.

Starting off the offseason, the Lakers have made moves to add Troy Brown Jr., Lonnie Walker, and Damian Jones. Those are a few minor moves that will help the team, but the Lakers will need to be deeper and more well-rounded if they have any chance of contending for the 2023 championship. There are moves out there that could bring the Lakers depth and make a more formidable starting lineup.

The issue is that there is now a new domino effect in the league since Kevin Durant asked for a trade. There is a chance that the Lakers could trade for Kyrie Irving, or Durant, or swing a deal to bring both players to town. It would require some pieces that have been rumored in previous trade rumors. For those reasons, the Lakers need to be patient and try to make a move for either or both of those players.

That is why the Lakers need to avoid making any of these three rumored blockbuster trades.

3. The Blockbuster Trade With The Indiana Pacers

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Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Myles Turner, Buddy Hield

Indiana Pacers Receive: Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, 2026 First-Round Pick

The idea of Turner and Davis could be sound on defense, but it would be investing in two players that are both injury-prone. Turner’s shooting is also overrated. It would not be as big of an upgrade as people think it would be. As for Hield, he is a defensive liability who does nothing but shoot outside shots. Duncan Robinson was in a similar position and we saw him get benched in the playoffs because he couldn’t defend. It would be a similar situation for Hield. The overall goal is for the Lakers to win a championship with Davis and Westbrook. The 2026 first-round pick would also be a valuable asset they lose in this scenario. Young talent like Talen Horton-Tucker leaving would also not be ideal, and he could take a leap next season.

Westbrook is a former MVP that is at a point in his career where he has to decide what kind of game he wants to play. A lot of players use their failures to bring success in the future. The Lakers could give Westbrook a chance to prove that he can alter his game to give the team a chance to contend. The Lakers could wait until January or February to see if this roster works or not with Westbrook.

2. The Blockbuster Trade With The Cleveland Cavaliers

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Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Collin Sexton (Sign-And-Trade), Jarrett Allen

Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton Tucker

The Cavaliers had a successful season last year without Sexton. Now, the team doesn’t have to give him a max contract if they don’t want to. When healthy, Sexton was a player that averaged 24.3 points and 4.4 assists while shooting 47.5% from the field and 37.1% from three-point range in 2020-21. In 11 games, Sexton averaged 16.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists before he was out for the season. At 23 years old, Sexton has an All-Star ceiling as a young shooting guard but has no point guard experience. The addition of Allen would in theory give the Lakers a defensive rim protector to form a near twin tower experience with Davis.

While all of that sounds good, the better option would be for the Lakers to target Kyrie Irving in a Russell Westbrook trade. Sexton might have a lot of potential, but he has not proven he can win anything in the playoffs, and could just end up being a player who got big numbers because of his extreme usage rate in the past. Jarrett Allen is a solid player, but he wouldn't make a difference in terms of winning the championship as Kyrie Irving would. Irving is a champion who won a title with James in 2016 and helped the Cavaliers make the NBA Finals from 2015 to 2017. The combination of James, Davis, and Irving would be much more lethal than Sexton. 

1. The Blockbuster Trade With The Brooklyn Nets

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Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris

Brooklyn Nets Receive: Anthony Davis

If the Lakers made this deal, it would allow Irving to play shooting guard. When James Harden ran the point in Brooklyn and Irving was the shooting guard, the team was borderline unstoppable on offense. With Harris slotted as the team’s starting small forward, the Lakers would have the outside shooting the team lacked from last season on the depth chart. As for the Nets, a pairing of Ben Simmons and Davis could be appealing for the team to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference.

This is a simple example of what a trap looks like. The Lakers should not rush to give Davis a package around Irving. They should look to trade Westbrook and Horton-Tucker for Irving. The Nets said they want two All-Star players and draft picks, but that is the initial offer. Every business goes back and forth with counteroffers. The best big three for the Lakers to win in 2023 include Davis with the team and not Westbrook. Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James would easily be the best trio in the Western Conference, and one of the favorites to win it all.