Lakers Blockbuster Trade Scenarios For A Third All-Star


The Los Angeles Lakers are gearing up for a playoff run this season, but it won’t be an easy path, considering they are 9th in the Western Conference and destined for a play-in spot with a 42-33 record. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been exceptional this season, but the Lakers need to find a third All-Star to create a Big Three before the 2024-25 season, and we have five major trade targets.

Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell - Los Angeles Lakers

Credit: Fadeaway World

2023-24 Season Statistics: 26.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Trade Package: D’Angelo Russell (Sign-and-Trade), Austin Reaves, Gabe Vincent, 2028 First-Round Pick Swap, 2029 First-Round Pick

The trade involving the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, which sees the Lakers acquiring Donovan Mitchell in exchange for sending Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and a 2029 first-round pick to the Cavaliers, presents an intriguing shift in the landscape of the Western Conference. This move significantly bolsters the Lakers’ roster, giving them a dynamic backcourt presence alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. A blockbuster deal like this has a realistic chance of happening, considering Mitchel’s future in Cleveland is uncertain.

Donovan Mitchell’s scoring ability, defensive prowess, and versatility make him a formidable addition. His ability to create his own shot, drive to the rim, and shoot from beyond the arc adds a new dimension to the Lakers’ offense, especially when sharing the floor with LeBron and Davis. With this trade, the Lakers would emerge as legitimate contenders to win the Western Conference and challenge the reigning champion Denver Nuggets and the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Minnesota Timberwolves.

The combination of LeBron’s playmaking, Davis’ inside-out scoring, and Mitchell’s perimeter threat would create numerous mismatches for opposing defenses. Additionally, the defensive potential of this trio is noteworthy, as all three players are capable of elite defense when engaged. This trade allows the team to maintain competitiveness even after LeBron’s retirement, which lays the foundation for a promising future with Donovan Mitchell as a central figure alongside Anthony Davis.

Trae Young

Trae Young - Los Angeles Lakers

Credit: Fadeaway World

2023-24 Season Statistics: 26.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 10.8 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Trade Package: D’Angelo Russell (Sign-and-Trade), Austin Reaves, Gabe Vincent, 2028 First-Round Pick Swap, 2029 First-Round Pick

Trae Young’s individual prowess is evident in his superb stats, having carried a significant scoring and playmaking load for the Atlanta Hawks without another star beside him (26.4 PPG, 10.8 APG on 37.1% 3-PT FG). This makes him a valuable asset for the Lakers, particularly when considering LeBron James’ advancing age at 39. Young’s adept ball-handling and playmaking skills could alleviate some of the burden on James, allowing the veteran to conserve energy for crucial moments in the game.

Moreover, Young’s fit with Anthony Davis presents an exciting prospect for the Lakers. Davis, known for his athleticism and ability to finish lobs, could find a perfect lob partner in Young. The synergy extends beyond alley-oops, as Young’s ability to run the floor, feed the big man, and play off of Davis adds a dynamic dimension to the Lakers’ offense. The Purple and Gold view Trae Young as an excellent player for them, without a doubt.

This blockbuster trade not only addresses immediate needs but also sets the stage for a promising future, ensuring that Trae Young becomes a cornerstone alongside Anthony Davis, even when the LeBron James era eventually comes to a close since the point guard is only 25 years old.

LeBron Jame

Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine - Los Angeles Lakers

Credit: Fadeaway World

2023-24 Season Statistics: 19.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.9 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Trade Package: D’Angelo Russell (Sign-and-Trade), Austin Reaves, Jalen Hood-Schifino, 2029 First-Round Pick

Zach LaVine is a perfect trade target for the Los Angeles Lakers. Armed with speed, athleticism, and agility, the shooting guard can be the final piece toward creating a Big Three in Los Angeles. Averaging 19.5 points per game on 34.9% shooting from three this season, LaVine can easily get back to his career efficiency (38.2%) once he is on a better team with other star players.

Whether spotting up from three or handling isolation situations, Zach LaVine is a tremendous option for the Lakers. He is only 29 years old and has at least four or five years at an All-Star level once he returns to his best. LaVine was dealing with trade rumors all season long and that affected his production, along with an injury that has sidelined him since he played his 25th game.

The shooting guard can easily slot into the starting lineup as soon as the Lakers give up their starting backcourt. Slotting in Jarred Vanderbilt when he is healthy, along with the likes of Rui Hachimura, can ensure the Lakers can place LeBron James as the point guard and still have a big lineup to dominate inside.

Dejounte Murray

Dejounte Murray - Los Angeles Lakers

Credit: Fadeaway World

2023-24 Season Statistics: 22.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Trade Package: Austin Reaves, Jarred Vanderbilt, 2029 First-Round Pick

The Lakers have been linked to Dejounte Murray for the past few months now, and it makes sense, considering the talented combo guard is an All-Star-caliber player on both ends of the court. It also seems that The King is a fan of Murray and likely wanted him to be a part of the team this year. He is averaging 22.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game on 36.5% from three with the Atlanta Hawks, but he seems to be the odd man out right now, with Trae Young dominating the ball as he does.

Dejounte Murray’s experience with Gregg Popovich has made him a controlled player with the ball and his basketball IQ is certainly above-average. He doesn’t take bad shots, can shoot the ball well from the perimeter, and competes on defense. He is averaging a career 1.4 steals per game, led the league in steals in 2021-22, and has an All-Star appearance under his name. No doubt, he would be an upgrade over Austin Reaves in the backcourt.

Murray would not only elevate the Lakers’ 23rd-ranked defense (117.5 OPPG) but would handle playmaking duties to relieve LeBron James. D’Angelo Russell is an excellent passer, but Murray is a more controlled guard who probably won’t take many bad shots. At 27 years old, he would also be a terrific investment for a Lakers side that needs to look at the post-LeBron era.

DeMar DeRozan (Sign-And-Trade)

DeMar DeRozan - Los Angeles Lakers

Credit: Fadeaway World

2023-24 Season Statistics: 23.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Trade Package: D’Angelo Russell (Sign-and-Trade), Austin Reaves, 2029 First-Round Pick

For an alternative trade going for experience and scoring confidence, which seems to be what the Lakers prefer, DeMar DeRozan should be available by the 36-39 Chicago Bulls by agreeing to a sign-and-trade agreement. The mid-range maestro is a free agent this summer after his $28,600,000 salary gets off the books, and the Lakers could strike a deal if the player signs a two or three-year deal for around $20-$25 million per season.

DeRozan is a six-time All-Star who is averaging 23.5 points per game this season on 47.5% from the field, so he would fit into the Lakers’ roster as an isolation scorer and go-to option in the clutch. Oftentimes, James and Davis are swamped with defenders in the final moments of a game, and giving the ball to DeRozan is a far better option than passing to a role player.

At 34 years old, DeRozan has at least two or three years left in the tank as well, and giving the player one final run for a championship could see an elevation in the isolation scorer’s play. DeRozan isn’t a great three-point shooter (career 29.6%), but he can still be an upgrade over the current Lakers roster because he provides another option in the clutch and is also an isolation star.

While Lakers fans will be worried that another experiment with a player similar to Russell Westbrook could fail in terms of floor-spacing, DeRozan is a far more controlled player at this stage of his career, and his efficiency as a scorer and passer fits well alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In case no other star is available, DeRozan could be an excellent backup option to create a Big Three.

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