The two teams that are on everybody's mind right now are the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers. Both teams have superstars on the roster and a championship-caliber team. Over the course of the season, the Brooklyn Nets have acquired James Harden via trade and then proceeded to sign Blake Griffin when he got bought out by the Detroit Pistons. The Brooklyn Nets have been accumulating talent, and have the most star power in the league.
The Los Angeles Lakers need to acquire somebody who can help them compete against the Brooklyn Nets. The Los Angeles Lakers should get a third star who can help them match the Brooklyn Nets, and potentially win a championship. Oftentimes, it is the moves in the middle of the season that are most important to winning a ring. With that being said, here are the 5 best targets for the Los Angeles Lakers at this moment.
5. Harrison Barnes
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Harrison Barnes
Sacramento Kings Receive: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Talen Horton-Tucker, 2027 Lakers first-round pick
Harrison Barnes is a solid forward who won the NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015. He is a capable scorer who is currently averaging 16.7 PPG. Harrison Barnes also has the size and switchability to be able to defend multiple positions. Harrison Barnes would be a perfect addition for the Los Angeles Lakers in terms of adding a two-way player who can play off of their superstars. Barnes would also give the Los Angeles Lakers another veteran with championship experience.
The trade package being sent to the Sacramento Kings is fairly straightforward. Kyle Kuzma is a young player who has flashed his potential and is capable of being a scorer on a team where he would have a bigger role. Talen Horton-Tucker is a solid defensive guard who can space the floor. Horton-Tucker is also somebody who has shown signs of being good when given steady minutes as well. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a 3 and D player, meaning that he is a valuable immediate term acquisition, but could also be a trade chip later down the line. The future pick should be a solid future asset.
4. Kristaps Porzingis
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks Receive: Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker, 2027 Lakers first-round pick
Kristaps Porzingis is an extremely talented big man who can space the floor while protecting the rim. Porzingis has shown the ability to be an elite high-volume shooter, and he would be a great fit on the Los Angeles Lakers. Kristaps Porzingis could pair well with LeBron James and Anthony Davis simply due to his skillset. Having Porzingis' size will also be important for the Los Angeles Lakers if they face teams like the Denver Nuggets or the Phoenix Suns, both of whom have elite centers. The trade package here would allow the Los Angeles Lakers to create their own big three. Simply put, Porzingis would be a good addition to the Lakers.
Montrezl Harrell would have to be sent out in order for the Mavericks to have a good big man. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso would provide solid defense and space the floor for Luka Doncic. Talen Horton-Tucker would be the young prospect in the trade that the Dallas Mavericks could develop next to Luka Doncic, and the future pick could be used to pick a solid player on a smaller contract.
3. Andre Drummond
Andre Drummond is quite possibly the best rebounder in the league. There has been a rumored possibility of Andre Drummond being bought out, meaning that he would be free to seek another team. The Los Angeles Lakers could be a prime destination for Drummond. Drummond has been on losing teams for the majority of his career: the Los Angeles Lakers could offer him a real chance of competing for a championship.
Andre Drummond would provide the Lakers with an athletic rim protector who can play solid minutes while Anthony Davis is out, and would also be able to provide an impact in the playoffs against bigger matchups. He could be an insane acquisition if he's bought out, and his abilities could cover some of the holes that the Lakers have in their roster.
2. John Collins
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: John Collins
Atlanta Hawks Receive: Kyle Kuzma, Talen Horton-Tucker, Alex Caruso, 2027 Lakers first-round pick
John Collins is an elite power forward who is in the last year of his contract. He refused an extension with the Atlanta Hawks prior to the start of the season, meaning that he could be traded. John Collins is a power forward who has bionic athleticism, and he is an elite rebounder. Collins is also able to space the floor well, shooting 38.8% from beyond the arc this season. He could be an elite floor spacer and scorer on the Los Angeles Lakers and would give them the third star they need. He would also provide the Los Angeles Lakers with an amazing prospect for years to come.
To get a young player of Collins' caliber, teams often have to give up a lot. But due to his contract situation, the Los Angeles Lakers' package could be enticing for the Hawks. All of the players in the package offer solid developmental options for the future. They are also all NBA champions, meaning that they could provide a good influence on the roster, and show a young team what it takes to win. This could be a win-win move for both sides.
1. DeMar DeRozan
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: DeMar DeRozan
San Antonio Spurs Receive: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Wesley Matthews, 2027 Lakers first-round pick
DeMar DeRozan going to the Los Angeles Lakers would be a great sight to see, as he is from Southern California, and also grew up loving Kobe Bryant. Like Bryant, DeMar DeRozan possesses an exquisite midrange game which is a throwback to an older era. On the Los Angeles Lakers, DeMar DeRozan could easily be the third option. He would also be able to run the offense as well when LeBron James sits: DeRozan is currently averaging a career-high 7.2 APG. DeRozan would be a solid veteran to add to the roster, and since he is an older player, he would definitely be attainable.
Due to DeRozan's age and contract, the Los Angeles Lakers could get away with giving the San Antonio Spurs a smaller package centered around Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma would provide a solid forward with scoring potential for San Antonio, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Wesley Matthews could both be veteran bench players. The 2027 first-round pick would be a sweetener here. This is quite possibly one of the best deals that the San Antonio Spurs could get for DeRozan, and it would help out both teams. A trade would be a win-win for all parties involved.