JaVale McGee has had a career year in Los Angeles, posting 11 points and 7 rebounds in 22 minutes per game. To add some depth to their frontcourt, they paired JaVale alongside Tyson Chandler, a defensive-minded veteran who they hoped would help secure the inside.
Even with these additions, it is clear that they don't have enough. The Lakers lack a consistent presence on the inside, as evidenced by their poor defensive and rebounding efforts.
Miami's Hassan Whiteside could be the solution this summer, as one trade proposed by L.A. Sports Hub’s Jason Reed suggests.
“James excels at making big men better and Whiteside would be no exception,” Reed write. “For the Heat, they would be trading just one guaranteed year of Whiteside for a 10th overall pick, which is a win. For the Lakers, they would be getting a center that they could extend long-term as well.”
They need some intensity on defense, and Whiteside would surely provide that. trading for him does pose a few problems, however.
Whiteside's $27.1 million contracts through 2019-20 would make it harder for the team to sign a quality free agent in July. Additionally, the Heat big man has not been playing well of late, seeing only five minutes of playing time in two of the Heat's last four games. He might be playing himself out of the rotation entirely.
Could LeBron resurrect his career? Would he live up to his lucrative contract? What kind of impact would he have on the Lakers?
Before thinking about any such deal, those are the questions Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka must ask. Then again, if the Lakers are seriously considering a trade for Whiteside late into the summer, they might not have a choice. If they do not secure some kind of big name before August, they will risk wasting away yet another season.