The Los Angeles Lakers are entering a tough stretch ahead of the new year, especially with Anthony Davis being out for at least a few weeks with a foot injury. Davis is expected to miss close to a month. The team sits near the bottom of the Western conference but has showed it can be a contender. After a 2-10 start, the Lakers are 13-18 largely behind Davis’ impressive play. If the Lakers can stay afloat while Davis is out, the front office could be willing to take a leap of faith with this group.
The Lakers don’t have a lot of assets to deal in the trade market, but they do hold two draft picks of significant interest. Those are for 2027 and 2029, when LeBron James and maybe even Davis could be gone. The Lakers have some expiring contracts which can act as salary filler, like Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker and Kendrick Nunn.
According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the most likely trade package involves Beverley, Nunn and one draft pick. The Lakers are reportedly targeting “3-and-D” wings like Jae Crowder and Josh Richardson, although the likes of Eric Gordon, Terry Rozier and Alec Burks are also on the table. Buha also reports the Lakers don’t want to sacrifice future assets because they don’t believe there is a trade that would make them a true contender. That logic holds if the trade targets listed above are an exhaustive list.
Crowder has tanked his own trade value and might simply be too volatile to give up a future pick for. Rozier would provide some scoring punch but has been wildly inefficient and is currently nursing a hip injury. Gordon and Richardson are fine targets but the Lakers will want something more for an unprotected future pick which could easily be in the top 3.
It appears the long rumored Pacers deal involving Buddy Hield and Myles Turner is off the table but the Lakers should aim higher than the names Buha mentions. Bojan Bogdanovic, Kyle Kuzma and DeMar DeRozan offer more upside, even if it costs LA the extra pick. Going halfway in doesn’t help this team, so the Lakers will either have to stay pat or go all the way in. We’ll see how it unfolds as the trade deadline approaches.