The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a very disappointing ending to their title hopes during the first round of the playoffs. The Phoenix Suns were fully healthy and made work of LeBron James and the Lakers in 6 games. Even if Anthony Davis remains at full health next season, the Lakers need an improved roster to become NBA champions again.
The best way for the Lakers to repeat is by acquiring 2 All-Star caliber players to join LeBron and Anthony Davis. This can be done by negotiating a blockbuster deal with LeBron's old team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers have been rumored to be shopping Collin Sexton while Kevin Love has probably been on the trading block for at least 2 years. By acquiring both players in exchange for key role players, the Lakers can book their ticket to the NBA Finals next year. This is why this deal works out for both teams in the end.
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Talen Horton-Tucker (Sign and Trade), 2027 First-Round Pick for Collin Sexton, Kevin Love
The Los Angeles Lakers Will Have The Most Complete Lineup In The NBA
The Lakers have 2 superstars but the rest of the roster is questionable. Point guard Dennis Schroder was a massive flop in the postseason, and so was Montrezl Harrell. Both players are likely leaving Los Angeles this offseason so the Lakers need replacements in both areas. Schroder and Harrell were supposed to be the next best players on the team but it was apparent they don't belong in Los Angeles. Schroder only averaged 14.3 PPG on 40.0% shooting in the playoffs while Harrell could only find 9.8 MPG in Frank Vogel's rotation.
Kyle Kuzma has disappeared from the Lakers' radar while the Lakers could risk sacrificing Caldwell-Pope and Talen Horton-Tucker to acquire budding All-Star Collin Sexton and 5-time All-Star Kevin Love. Sexton is immediately the best player in the trade after averaging 24.3 PPG this season, and he can be an instant offense to relieve James and Davis throughout the season. Kevin Love is nowhere near the same player he used to be but he played with LeBron in Cleveland and can hit shots better than anyone on the Lakers right now (37.0% career 3-PT FG). With a strong lineup in place with 4 All-Star players, the Lakers will have the best team in the West.
Cleveland Move On From Love, Gain Return For Sexton In Their Rebuild Plans
The Cavaliers have been in the trading market all season long and they are expecting to cash in on 22-year old Collin Sexton this offseason. Sexton is a scoring guard and it seems Cleveland would rather focus their rebuild on Darius Garland who could have a higher ceiling. Whatever the reason is, Cleveland will struggle to find a trade package that will gift them 2 young players and a first-round pick in exchange for an invaluable Kevin Love and an offensively focused Sexton.
Kyle Kuzma is only a year removed from averaging 18.7 PPG and can still play inside and outside as a versatile forward. Horton-Tucker is so valuable that the Lakers didn't move him for former NBA champion Kyle Lowry this season, at the risk of their title hopes. Sexton is over a decade younger than Lowry and has a higher ceiling as an offensive talent, and he could bait the Lakers to let go of Horton-Tucker. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a knockdown shooter and he would improve Cleveland's offense as well as a two-way player next to Garland.