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7 Role Players The Lakers Can Land Before The Trade Deadline

7 Role Players The Lakers Can Land Before The Trade Deadline

The Los Angeles Lakers have not been the best team in the NBA this season, even though they probably should be. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have led the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference 2 years ago 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 had the talent and roster to compete for the title once again. But two years later, Los Angeles has failed to reach that level again.

The Lakers need to make major moves in their roster, but the best way to do it is acquiring role players that can contribute right away instead of making blockbuster trades. LeBron and Davis are clear untouchables, and guys like Russell Westbrook and Talen Horton-Tucker will never be traded for role players. Luckily, the trade market is filled with talent and the Lakers can make major moves to acquire another quality player to retain their throne as the kings of the NBA. There are quite a few realistic trades the Lakers can go after to ensure they perform at an elite level once again.

With 26 games into the season, the Lakers hold a 13-13 record which is good for 6th in the Western Conference. Los Angeles will not win a title as the 6th seed because not having an advantage in the playoffs will not help a team that is led by a 37-year-old superstar and inconsistent role players. Rather, acquiring one of the best 7 available role players in the league will boost Los Angeles’ ability to compete at a high level. While LeBron, Davis, Westbrook, and Horton-Tucker are considered untouchables; the Lakers have a ton of tradeable assets to put toward trades that will help the team immediately. Here are the most ideal and realistic targets for the Los Angeles Lakers before the trade deadline.


7. Bryn Forbes 

Bryn Forbes Lakers

This deal would upgrade the Lakers roster immediately. Bryn Forbes is a much better shooter than almost every player on the roster, but at some point, the guard will enter a hot phase with his three-point streak. Bryn is shooting 40.9% from three this year and would make the Lakers more potent on offense because he has been a member of some great franchises including the Spurs and Bucks.

The Lakers find themselves relying on Wayne Ellington and Carmelo Anthony to space the floor, and both players are in the latter years of their careers. At some point, both veterans will start showing their age and will never shoot close to the level that Forbes can. The 6’2” guard can be trusted to play at least 25 MPG without missing a beat because he has a quick release and can be a massive factor alongside James and Westbrook in the offense.


6. T.J. McConnell

T.J. McConnell Lakers

TJ McConnel brings something the Lakers will desperately need as the playoffs near; a competitor who hustles for every loose ball. The 6’1” point guard is clearly undersized when comparing him to the athletic freaks in the NBA today, but he brings leadership and defensive prowess every time he is on the court. Los Angeles struggle to defend on most occasions, as their perimeter defense is very inconsistent because they lack competitors on that end. Losing Alex Caruso hurt because Westbrook nor any of the role players can defend at a high level.

McConnel certainly can defend, as he averaged 1.9 SPG last year and is effective at staying with players with the ball. The guard can play passing lanes as well and does little things to help his team win. While McConnel is not quite on the level of Alex Caruso, he certainly comes closer to him than anyone else on the Lakers’ roster. Luckily for the Lakers, Indiana is in rebuild mode and will make most of their players available for trade.


5. Jeremy Lamb

Jeremy Lamb Lakers

Jeremy Lamb has yet to reach his true heights because he had potential as a scorer with excellent athletic ability. But the 6’5” swingman has suffered from injuries that have hurt his career, and he has not found a true home so far in his NBA career. Averaging only 7.3 PPG in 13.9 MPG, Jeremy Lamb is not making an impact with the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers seem to have a bunch of win-now role players because Lamb will not help a rebuilding team, even if he can score.

The former No. 12 overall pick has shown capabilities to average over 12 PPG as he has during 3 of the past 4 seasons, and he could get close to that number if he plays on the Lakers. Lamb was great hops, can take his jumpers with confidence, and is a veteran at this point of his career. Los Angeles can do without the services of older veterans such as Trevor Ariza, Avery Bradley, and Rajon Rondo; as none of these players are as good as Lamb right now. At only 29 years old, Jeremy Lamb can be a valuable contributor for a Lakers’ squad that needs an energy injection.


4. Terrence Ross

Terrence Ross Lakers

Terrence Ross has been a perfect Lakers player for a long time because he is an above-average scorer at the shooting guard position and has the capability of going off on offense. The 6’6” scorer is only averaging 9.9 PPG this season, but he has put up over 14 PPG the last 3 seasons. Ross is nailing 36.5% of his threes over his career, a respectable number for a shooting guard that has never played with elite playmakers like LeBron James and Russell Westbrook before.

Perhaps more importantly, Ross has crowd-pleasing athleticism and is no slouch on defense either. The veteran scorer is not a stat but the Lakers do not need one right now, they need a player who can consistently average double-digits without needing the ball on every possession. Ross does a lot of good things on the floor including running the break and spotting up for shots, so he could immediately become a fan favorite if he joins the Lakers.


3. Devonte’ Graham

Devonte’ Graham Lakers

Devonte’ Graham is clearly an above-average point guard because he is putting up 13.7 PPG and 4.4 APG while nailing 34.6% of his three-point shots. The guard was one of the key signings the New Orleans Pelicans made this offseason, although the team has not maximized his abilities. Without Zion Williamson on the floor, Graham is not prospering on a team devoid of any consistency. For a team that will be in the lottery, moving on from Graham for a Lakers package centered around a 2027 first-overall pick could work.

Remember, Graham averaged 18.2 PPG and 7.5 APG in his second season, playing 35.1 MPG and being a valuable contributor for the Charlotte Hornets. While the point guard will not be taking away Russell Westbrook’s minutes, he can be a valuable backup point guard that can shoot and pass. Even when he plays alongside Westbrook, Graham can hit shots with confidence and brings another scoring threat on the team whenever LeBron James is resting. The former No. 34 overall pick would quietly be one of the best Lakers signings if he joins the contending franchise.


2. Kevin Love

Kevin Love Lakers

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 respectable player, averaging 11. PPG and 7.1 RPG this season and he is a perfect fit alongside Anthony Davis because he can space the floor as a stretch big. Most importantly, Love is no slouch on defense and can haul in rebounds for the Lakers’ team. Even though Love will never be an All-Star again, the veteran can be trusted to play at least 20 MPG at center during small-ball possessions or at his preferred power forward spot.

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 during the 2016 postseason run, the Cavaliers do not win the title without Kevin Love. Love is a championship-level player and the Lakers boost their chance of making a Finals run this year if they make a move for him. Of course, all eyes are on the Cleveland Cavaliers to proceed with a buyout so the Lakers can acquire the big man without much roster shuffling.


1. John Wall

John Wall Lakers

The John Wall situation has been an interesting one to follow because nobody knows what will happen with the former No. 1 overall pick. The 5-time All-Star might not make the Hall of Fame, but he had the skills and talent to be a first-ballot had injuries not killed his career. But that is neither here nor there because Wall, at this moment, is still capable of averaging above 18 PPG and 6 APG if he plays significant minutes. We already saw that last year, when he dropped 20.6 PPG and 6.9 APG.

Wall will always have injury issues and will likely never be an All-Star again, but playing significant minutes for the Lakers gives the franchise a cover in case LeBron James or Russell Westbrook need a breather. Wall might have to accept a backup role if he does join the Lakers, but at 31 years old with a ton of mileage on his body, winning a championship could be his ultimate goal. John Wall clearly feels he can still compete at a high level, and that could be a good thing for the Lakers. The Houston Rockets are in scintillating form right now with 7 straight wins, and buying out John Wall could be the perfect way to keep building around young players. 

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