As the NBA regular season comes to a close, one thing is clear: The Lakers need more help. They’re on track for their worst record in over 20 years and are unlikely to make meaningful playoff noise this year. With that said, here’s how they can change their fortunes at the trade deadline with three big trades.
The “nba rumors: lakers” is a rumor that the Lakers could trade Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook to create 3 superteams.
After climbing the mountain two years ago, the Lakers came into the 2021-22 season with championship aspirations. They looked dominant in 2021, going up 2-1 on the eventual Western Conference Champion Phoenix Suns before injuries to Anthony Davis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope knocked them out in the first round.
This year hasn’t gone exactly as planned. The Lakers are 27-34 in what is quickly becoming the franchise’s worst dismal season. Rob Pelinka made a huge mistake by acquiring Russell Westbrook, a guy who thrives with the ball in his hands and seems confused when he’s not on the court alongside LeBron James. When he’s on his game, Anthony Davis is a top-10 player, but he hasn’t been able to remain on the floor since he placed a chip in his pocket.
The Purple and Gold’s issues extend beyond its mismatched and stumbling “Big-3.” The Los Angeles Lakers are a top-heavy shambles. Rob Pelinka spent virtually all of his salary space on three maxed-out players, leaving the rest of the squad in shambles. Dwight Howard, LA’s only viable center, is 36 years old and struggles to play lengthy minutes. They also lack real 3-and-D wings capable of spreading the floor and playing above-average defense.
Despite their issues, the Lakers still have a top-5 talent in LeBron James, whom practically every other NBA team desires.
Father Time has been imprisoned in the basement for longer than everyone imagined, but he’s gnawing through his bonds and will eventually break free. The Lakers have one more shot to rebuild their team around their superstar and compete for a championship.
By dealing Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis, the Purple and Gold might build a stronger squad for LeBron James.
Russell Westbrook and Talen Horton-Tucker have been acquired by the Houston Rockets.
John Wall and Christian Wood have been acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Anthony Davis has been acquired by the Boston Celtics.
The Los Angeles Lakers are a professional basketball team based in Los Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams III, Jaylen Brown, Jaylen Brown, Jaylen Brown, Jaylen
John Wall, Jaylen Brown, LeBron James, Christian Wood, and Robert Williams are the new starters for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers and Rockets have finally swapped the league’s two worst contracts. Although John Wall isn’t a better player than Russell Westbrook, he’d be a better fit in Los Angeles. The Lakers hope that after sitting on his couch for the full 2021-22 season, John Wall will be willing to play the type of 3-and-D position that Brodie has sneered at. Wall isn’t renowned for his long-range shooting or on-ball defense, but he’s a much better ballhawk than Russell Westbrook, and with no playmaking responsibilities, he should be able to focus on defense for the Lakers. Wall is also only a few years away from hitting 37.1 percent from three-point range for the Wizards in 2017-18, a season figure that Brodie has never come close to matching.
Christian Wood, a starting power forward for the Lakers, would also be acquired. With 17.5 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game, Wood is averaging a double-double for the Rockets this season. He’s not a top-tier rim protector, but he’s agile enough to play the 4, and he’d be a valuable addition to the Purple and Gold’s shot blocking. Wood is a reliable three-point shooter who makes 37.4 percent of his three-point tries on 4.9 attempts a game, and he’s a quick leaper who finishes nicely at the rim.
The Lakers would be devastated to lose Anthony Davis, who has already demonstrated he can win a championship with LeBron James. The issue for the Purple and Gold is simple: AD can’t remain on the floor, and LA can’t afford to squander another year of LBJ’s magnificence by hoping their star big man survives the season.
Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams III would be acquired by the Lakers, providing two durable players for the oft-injured AD. Jaylen Brown is one of the top two-way wings in the NBA and would complement LeBron James nicely. Brown’s ability to generate his own look off the dribble should relieve some of the load on James in the half-court. He’s also a great spot-up shooter who might help The King stretch the floor. Brown is a top-tier defender who has no qualms about locking down the opposition team’s finest attacking winger.
Robert Williams III is one of the league’s greatest defensive centers. With his rim protection and ability to defend smaller players off switches, he’s a quick-twitch, long-armed terror anchoring the Celtics’ second-ranked defense.
J. Wall, J. Brown, L. James, C. Wood, and R. Williams would be a risky starting lineup for the Lakers. John Wall might be entirely out of the 2022-23 season. Christian Wood has spent virtually all of his career in Houston as a center and may find it difficult to go down a slot. Even so, this grouping would contain a consistent cast of players that, at the very least, play strong defense, know their jobs, and flourish with LeBron James.
The Rockets, on the other hand, are making this transaction in the hopes of buying out Russell Westbrook and saving money. Talen Horton-Tucker, a good young two-way winger who might develop with youngster Jalen Green, would also be acquired.
The Celtics make this transaction because they still seem to be in the Eastern Conference’s bottom tier, behind the 76ers, Bucks, and Heat. If Anthony Davis is healthy and partnered with Jayson Tatum, they have a good chance to win a championship.
No. 2 Scenario
Russell Westbrook has been acquired by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley have been acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Anthony Davis is on his way to the Miami Heat.
Bam Adebayo, P. J. Tucker, and Max Strus have been acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers.
D’Angelo Russell, Talen Horton-Tucker, LeBron James, P.J. Tucker, and Bam Adebayo are the new starters for the Lakers.
Russell Westbrook isn’t inherently a better player than D’Angelo Russell. Russell has trouble getting to the rack, isn’t a natural playmaker, and can’t handle the pick and roll well. Still, he’d be a wonderful match for the Lakers next to LeBron James. Russell is shooting more over half of his shots from beyond the arc in 2021-22, with a mediocre 35.2 percent success rate. That’s OK. As an outside shooter, he’s a notch above Westbrook, a player who must be watched at all times and who would naturally spread the floor for LeBron James, assisting him in getting into the lane.
D’Angelo Russell may not be the league’s fastest defender, but he’s learned to use his height and surprisingly quick hands to become a top-tier perimeter ace. Russell is averaging 2.0 deflections per game this season, while restricting his assignments to 44.4 percent from the field.
Malik Beasley’s four-year, $60 million deal isn’t great, but he makes the D’Angelo Russell for Russell Westbrook trade work, so he’d join the Lakers in a backup position, where he’d be an improvement over the team’s existing roster. Beasley is a 3-and-D player who shoots a respectable 36.5 percent from three-point range on 8.1 tries per game while playing above-average perimeter defense.
The Lakers trade AD for Bam Adebayo, P. J. Tucker, and Max Strus in the second phase of our scenario. AD is the team’s greatest player, a game-changing two-way powerhouse. The Lakers can’t afford to keep hoping that The Brow remains healthy.
Bam Adebayo, 24, has only made one All-Star appearance compared to Anthony Davis, 28, who has been in the NBA’s mid-season showcase eight times. Adebayo does not have the same kind of top-end potential as AD, and he is unlikely to be an All-Star in the Western Conference. With that said, he’s already demonstrated he can play second fiddle to a superstar on a championship-caliber team by guiding the Heat to the Eastern Conference title in 2020.
On defense, Adebayo is a game-changer. He’s a 6-9 center who can switch out, an outstanding rim protector, and a perimeter disrupter. As he leads the Miami Heat’s 6th ranked defense, he keeps his covers to 5.4 percent below their regular average while scooping up 2.5 deflections each game. On the fun side of the ball, Adebayo continually puts pressure on the rack with his ability to execute a variety of spin moves and a fast first step to blast past slower perimeter centers or storming into the lane in pick and roll actions.
Max Strus and P. J. Tucker are also capable role players. Tucker was a key part of the Bucks’ championship run last season, delivering electrifying defense while holding some of the greatest offensive players in the world to a 43.3 percent shooting percentage in the playoffs in 2021. Strus makes a great backup forward. This season, he’s averaging 10.6 points per game while playing tough defense for the Heat, shooting 40.3 percent from outside the arc.
Unlike this year’s Lakers team, which is the NBA’s Jane Doe, our revamped Purple and Gold would have a distinct identity. In D. Russell, T. Horton-Tucker, P. Tucker, and B. Adebayo, the Lakers’ management would surround LeBron James with four terrific defenders who would assist him make stops on the less enjoyable end while deferring to the King and his playmaking prowess on offense.
Russell Westbrook is still a quality NBA player, so the Timberwolves make this trade for him. Brodie’s drive and kick game would thrive alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, two outstanding three-point shooters, but he’d be a poor match next to LeBron James.
The Heat would make this deal right away because, as good as Adebayo is, he’s not as good as Anthony Davis. A healthy AD, J. Butler, K. Lowry, and T. Herro would be enough to win the championship.
No. 3 Scenario
Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, a 2027 first-round pick, and a 2023 second-round pick go to the New York Knicks.
Julius Randle, Evan Fournier, Kemba Walker, and Alec Burks have been acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Anthony Davis is on his way to the Phoenix Suns.
The Los Angeles Lakers are a professional basketball team based in Los Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton, Deandre Ayton, Deandre Ayton, Deand
Kemba Walker, Mikal Bridges, LeBron James, Julius Randle, and Deandre Ayton are the new starters for the Lakers.
For the Lakers, a deal with the Knicks would be very risky. They’d be giving up Russell Westbrook, whose contract expires at the conclusion of the 2023 season, for three dubious players in Julius Randle, Evan Fournier, and Alec Burks, all of whom have just inked multi-year contracts. Despite the risks, the Lakers make this deal because there is a lot of possibility here, and in LA, it’s either win or go home.
Julius Randle has struggled in New York this year. His three-point shooting has dropped to 30.1 percent, he’s making just 62.7 percent of his rim shots, and he’s committing 3.5 turnovers a game, the most of his career. However, it isn’t all awful. Randle is still one of the league’s greatest big men playmakers. He leads the Knicks in both passes made and assist points produced, averaging 52.9 per game (14.8 per contest). Randle also has a knack for crashing the boards and grabbing rebounds in tight situations.
Most significantly, Randle’s on-ball defense is among the best in the league. He doesn’t provide great rim protection, but he can defend post guys on the block and transition onto faster guards near the arc. Julius Randle is suffocating his assignments, resulting in a season-high 42.9 percent connect rate.
The four-year, $78 million deal signed by Evan Fournier is exorbitant. Despite this, he’s averaging 14.6 points per game and shooting 39.6% from beyond the arc for a New York club that lacks a true playmaker. Imagine what he’d do if he was in the same room as LeBron James. For the Lakers, Fournier’s outside stroke would make him an outstanding floor-spacing sixth man.
Following Isiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving down the rabbit hole after leaving Boston, Kemba Walker is the third player to succumb to the Boston Celtics’ point guard curse. Is 31-year-old Walker clean? Only two years ago, he was named to the All-Star squad. Kemba Walker may never be the same as he was with the Charlotte Hornets, but he can still be a productive player for the Lakers. Walker has a lifetime three-point percentage of 36.0 percent and can assist LBJ and Randle with supplementary playmaking. If he struggles, the Lakers may bench him and insert Austin Reaves into the starting lineup.
Alec Burks is an expert scorer. In 2021-22, he’s making 38.5 percent of his three-point tries and 39.4% of his shots from 16 feet to the arc. Off the bench, he’ll be a valuable offensive asset for the Lakers.
The Lakers’ deal with the Suns would be dangerous as well. They’d be giving up a superstar in AD for Deandre Ayton, who would likely be maxed out by Phoenix before the trade, but who may not be an All-Star in the future. The Purple and Gold make this deal because, although Ayton can’t score like Davis, he’s a trustworthy young center who has shown he can anchor a championship-caliber defense while also serving as the greatest roll man on offense.
Mikal Bridges would also be acquired by the Purple and Gold in this agreement. He’s one of the league’s finest perimeter defenders, a no-nonsense guy who has shut down the likes of Stephen Curry, James Harden, and Trae Young this season on his own. In 2021-22, Bridges is hitting on 35.8% of his long-distance attempts, but he’s much more than a 3-and-D guy. Approximately 40% of his shots this season have come from drives to the hoop, where he is hitting 60.3 percent of his tries. Bridges, 25, is averaging 13.4 points per game this season, second only to Devin Booker and Chris Paul, both of whom have usage rates over 25%. If given the opportunity, Bridges could easily average 17 points or more each game.
We’ve seen throughout LeBron James’ career that if you surround him with a terrific defensive big man and three guys who can hit from deep, you’ll be assured a trip to the second round of the playoffs, and he’ll get you all the way to the championships more often than not.
This Lakers team may not have another star, but it would be loaded with borderline All-Stars who would understand their roles and could easily assist LBJ in securing his fifth ring.
From the Knicks’ perspective, this would be a fantastic deal, a chance to start over since New York is without a real All-Star and has little hope for the future. The Knicks will be bad next season, but they can’t go much worse than they have been this season. They’d have a lot of cap room after going through hell in 2022-23. Westbrook’s $47 million deal would be terminated. Randle, Fournier, and Burke’s long-term contracts would not bind the Knicks’ front management. RJ Barrett may help New York put together a cohesive squad.
The Suns would gladly accept our offer as well. Robert Sarver, the owner of the Phoenix Suns, isn’t a big fan of Deandre Ayton. After helping the Suns reach the NBA finals, he declined to max him out. While Phoenix will miss Mikal Bridges, they have Cameron Johnson, another terrific two-way winger, waiting in the wings to make his debut. Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Anthony Davis together would be one of the top trios in the game, capable of hoisting a championship banner.
The Lakers’ offseason will be must-watch television.
The Lakers remain optimistic that if Anthony Davis recovers from injury before the play-in tournament, they will be able to make a postseason impact. That’s a lovely gesture, but there’s no proof LBJ and AD can make it work with Russell Westbrook and their ensemble of minimum-contract role players from the 2021-22 season. It wouldn’t be unexpected if the Purple and Gold didn’t make the playoffs at all. They’ve dropped three straight games since the All-Star break, and the 10th-seeded New Orleans Pelicans are just 1.5 games behind them, while the 11th-seeded Portland Trail Blazers are only 2.5 games behind.
Things will blow up in La La during the winter if the Lakers miss the playoffs or are knocked out in the first round. Frank Vogel, the head coach, and Rob Pelinka, the general manager, might both be fired. Russell Westbrook may take a buyout or be moved, but he is unlikely to return to Hollywood next season. If the appropriate deal comes up, AD may be moved away as well. The Lakers will almost surely look different next season, but they may give the NBA a complete makeover and return with LeBron James and a totally new supporting cast.
If the Los Angeles Lakers made better decisions, they may have a true Superteam.
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