Should Wizards star shooting guard Bradley Beal decide he wants out of Washington, the Lakers will be all over it, as relayed by Jovan Buha of The Athletic.
Same goes for Nets forward Kevin Durant or Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, Buha added. Of course, you could say that about any team if any of those types of players suddenly asked for a trade or become available.
But the Lakers are the Lakers, a franchise focused on winning big and believing most every star will eventually want to come their way. Occasionally, they are right.
Look no further than the likes of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone and Gary Payton all having signed up with the franchise. And that’s just the short list.
But unless the Lakers are willing to trade James or Davis (they’re not), none of those big names are coming to LA this year. So it appears that GM Rob Pelinka will try to improve things via less-impressive deals.
Yes, that could involve point guard Russell Westbrook, who is having a considerably better season than last, with coach Darvin Ham bringing Westbrook off the bench. But the Lakers don’t really look any better.
Still, there doesn’t seem to be any potential Westbrook deal to the Lakers’ liking. At least, not yet. That could change at the February trade deadline, though at that point, it might be pointless.
Instead, it seems as if LA is currently exploring the idea of trading guards Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn, as a package deal, with one of their next trade-eligible first-round picks (2027 and ’29). Buha reiterated that possibility in his latest piece.
Another possibility is guard Lonnie Walker IV, who became trade-eligible himself on Dec. 15. Throwing him in a deal may garner more in return. Same for shooting guard Austin Reaves or center Thomas Bryant. Right now, though, it appears the Lakers have no intention of trading any of those three.
As for the likes of Beal, Durant or Lillard … well, it does not appear that any will be on the way to save the day, not this season anyway. For starters, the Nets and Blazers are both better than the Lakers.
“Durant asked for a trade this offseason but retracted his request when the Nets were unable to find a deal they liked,” RealGM wrote. “Lillard has continually said he intends to play his entire career in Portland. And Beal signed a five-year, maximum extension with the Wizards this past summer, one that includes in the NBA’s only true no-trade clause.”
And that seems to be the Lakers’ issue this season. They are dreaming, as opposed to doing.
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