The Los Angeles Lakers have been the best team in the NBA Playoffs so far. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have led the Lakers to 4-1 victories in each of the first 3 rounds, with a chance to put the Heat away in Game 5 tonight. Simply put, the Lakers are the team to beat next season.
But that doesn't mean they should remain content with their squad. LeBron and Davis are untouchables, and guys like Rajon Rondo have earned their spot on the squad due to big-time performances. The Lakers can make major moves to acquire a third All-Star to retain their throne for the foreseeable future. By adding a third NBA All-Star, the Lakers can start creating an NBA Dynasty that may last 2 more seasons at least.
Here are the top five targets for the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason.
5. Zach LaVine
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook, and 2027 First Round Pick for Zach LaVine
The trade makes a ton of sense for the Lakers. LaVine is a player that is close to being an All-Star right now and can also be a franchise player alongside Anthony Davis when LeBron James retires in the near future. Los Angeles is close to an NBA title this year and should do anything to repeat next year as well.
LaVine had a career year averaging 25.5 PPG and is the best third option that the Lakers will have. Kyle Kuzma is not the player for the Lakers and can be the number one option in Chicago which will help his growth. Danny Green plays solid defense, and guys like Caruso and Cook can provide valuable minutes and playoff experience for a young Bulls squad.
4. C.J. McCollum
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook, and 2027 First Round Pick for C.J. McCollum
In terms of pairing the best possible scorer alongside LeBron and Davis, McCollum might be it. C.J. is a professional scorer and has proven that he can be a clutch shot maker during the past two postseasons with the Trail Blazers. McCollum averaged 22.2 PPG this season as the team's second option, although he was forced into taking tough shots. With the Lakers, he can be a player to average 20 PPG and give the team an almost guaranteed NBA Finals appearance.
For Portland, it might be time to move on from the Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum backcourt, and add fresh blood in Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso. Both players can be starters in the right system, which Portland should go for. Green and Cook add depth that Portland can use when they push for the Playoffs next year.
3. Chris Paul
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and 2027 First Round Pick for Chris Paul
With Chris Paul at the helm, the Lakers add one of the greatest floor generals in NBA history to relieve the pressure off of an aging LeBron James. LeBron is already the best playmaker in the league, but he can take a backseat more often with Paul handling the ball. CP3 has proven he was still an All-Star this season after making the All-NBA 3rd Team, and his performances in the Playoffs warrant him a spot on the Lakers.
Oklahoma City impressed everyone after losing both Russell Westbrook and Paul George last summer, and retooling with young guys and Chris Paul as the leader. Kyle Kuzma adds another franchise player they can build around, while KCP and Green add shooting and defense. Both Avery Bradley and KCP need to accept their player option for this deal to happen, which is most likely the case OKC can continue their rebuild with the first-round pick and possibly make the Playoffs with this deal.
2. Donovan Mitchell
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook, and 2027 First Round Pick for Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell is coming ladies and gentlemen. The Utah Jazz goes as far as Mitchell carries them, and he couldn't do it on his own this postseason. It might be time for Mitchell to take matters into his own hands and force a trade to a contender. There is no doubt that Mitchel is one of the best players in the NBA and has the potential to be a franchise star for the Lakers. AD, James, and Mitchel are winning an NBA title together and there is no question. Mitchell can also be a dominant duo with AD in the future when LeBron hangs it up.
For the Jazz, they will replace Mitchell with Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso. Kuzma is a perfect fit alongside Rudy Gobert because he has the size to play power forward and also shoot the outside jumper. As a surprisingly effective scorer, Kuzma can possibly be the first option for the Jazz. Caruso can replace Mitchell's ability on defense, and add some athleticism. Utah will lose this deal, but they might have to accept if Mitchell doesn't want to be in Utah anymore.
1. Bradley Beal
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook, and 2027 First Round Pick for Bradley Beal
Without a doubt, Bradley Beal would give the Los Angeles Lakers a Dynasty to remember. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Bradley Beal are more of a videogame lineup than an NBA one. These 3 bonafide All-Stars can rival the Golden State Warriors with Kevin Durant as possibly the best one in the past decade. Beal is a sensational scorer averaging 30.5 PPG this year, meaning he can come in and be the main option on offense alongside Anthony Davis. LeBron can lead the league in assists yet again, and also extend his career in his bid to equal Jordan's 6 NBA rings.
The Wizards are a hot mess right now and must make moves before John Wall comes back. Kuzma would fit perfectly in Washington, and his duo with Wall would be fun to watch. Caruso is an energetic and athletic guard that will probably start alongside Wall, with a chance to give Washington something to cheer about if Beal wants out.
Bradley Beal to the Lakers would create the most dominant NBA team since the Golden State Warriors juggernaut and certainly win at least 2 more NBA titles.