There are sometimes multi-team blockbuster trades that happen in the NBA, with players moving all over the place. Those trades are difficult to orchestrate, and the more franchises you have to appease, the harder it gets.
We've created a potential trade scenario that features a deal that would benefit each franchise. The trade features Damian Lillard going to the Lakers, Russell Westbrook moving to the Pelicans, and Brandon Ingram to the Trail Blazers.
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Damian Lillard
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, Nassir Little, 2027 First-Round Pick From Lakers
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Brandon Ingram, Devonte' Graham, Tomas Satoransky, 2023 First-Round Pick From Pelicans
Los Angeles Lakers Finally Get Damian Lillard
The Los Angeles Lakers are currently 13-12 and 6th in the Western Conference. There's no doubt that they haven't been a championship-caliber team, and that the players they have on the roster have had trouble developing chemistry with one another.
If the Lakers want to make a big move such as the presented one for Damian Lillard, they would likely have to give up Russell Westbrook, as he is their most valuable player after Anthony Davis and LeBron James. The New Orleans Pelicans would also want young talent and picks in this scenario, hence Talen Horton-Tucker and a pick getting added to the deal on the Lakers' end.
Damian Lillard would provide the Los Angeles Lakers with a superstar that fits well with LeBron James and Anthony Davis and would give them immense amounts of spacing. He would also give them a capable shot creator and 3-level scorer, something that they do not currently have. A big three featuring Damian Lillard, LeBron James, and Anthony is bound to find success.
New Orleans Pelicans Get A Veteran Leader In Russell Westbrook
The New Orleans Pelicans have had some good pieces in the past few years, but they haven't been able to ascend to being a playoff team. Acquiring Russell Westbrook would help with that. However, to be clear, the only way that the Pelicans agree to this trade is if Russell Westbrook is okay with signing a two-year extension with the franchise.
Russell Westbrook has been to the playoffs every single year since 2015, and there's no question that his style of play elevates his teammates. His leadership would also be extremely valuable for a young Pelicans squad. Brandon Ingram is a good player, leadership isn't something that he is particularly known for. When Zion Williamson gets back, the pick and roll game between him and Westbrook will be stellar.
Talen Horton-Tucker is a young talent that simply hasn't had the opportunity to develop himself while playing next to 3 stars on the offensive end. Horton-Tucker is a capable slasher who has some playmaking ability. They would also get a solid wing player in Nassir Little, who has shown that he can rebound the ball and finish well on the interior. Perhaps the Pelicans could give those young players the opportunity to develop. The pick from the Lakers would likely be good, as it would be in 2027 when the Lakers likely won't be competitive.
Overall, giving up Brandon Ingram, as well as draft compensation and the contracts of Devonte' Graham and Tomas Satoransky to get a former MVP and some young pieces could be beneficial for their chances of being competitive next season.
The Trail Blazers Get To Build Around Brandon Ingram
Many analysts believe that the Portland Trail Blazers have to rebuild and that their core has run its course. This trade would get them an All-Star in return. Brandon Ingram is one of the best forwards in the league, currently averaging 22.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 4.7 APG. Ingram is a forward that can create his own shot but also create for his teammates. His versatile offensive game makes him a great potential franchise centerpiece for the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Trail Blazers would also get Devonte' Graham and Tomas Satoransky, both of whom are veterans that can be flipped in a further trade for picks/other players. Devonte' Graham in particular is a solid shooter who could be of interest to contenders. The New Orleans Pelicans would also add in extra draft compensation for the Trail Blazers to get the deal done and help their rebuild.
This trade would allow the Trail Blazers to send Damian Lillard to a contender while getting a talented young star and some other pieces to help with their rebuilding process. This could definitely be a good deal for them.