If they have no choice in the first round of the 2022 draft, the Lakers could however well animate the evening. The Purples and Golds have the opportunity to unleash a gigantic move to get back on their feet… In this context, five specific trades could emerge.
With their rating at the bottom of the hole, the Lakers will have no choice but to try to hit the transfer market, if they want to rebound. For this, nothing better than the evening of the draft which is traditionally the scene of XXL exchanges. The case of Russell Westbrook being still so problematic for the Angelinos, this would be the opportunity to get rid of it. Five scenarios seem particularly credible:
Houston: Russell Westbrook vs. John Wall
Despite recent statements by its leaders and coach Darvin Ham, the Brodie isn’t really guaranteed to stay. This may be the last opportunity for him to get something in return… J-Wall is in the closet at the Rockets and has been linked to the Purples and Golds for a long time. He shares several points in common in his game with Westbrook, which would make it possible not to disrupt the strategy established by the coaching staff too much. It would then remain to monitor his state of health, which has been problematic for a few seasons.
Minnesota: Westbrook & Talen Horton-Tucker vs. Patrick Beverley & D’Angelo Russell
Here again, RW is at the heart of the package, but this time it would be accompanied by an intriguing asset. In effect, competition would tear Horton-Tucker out of the market, which could convince the Timberwolves to accept. We would then witness the return of D-Lo to the City of Angels, a few years after a very stormy departure. What to imitate Dwight Howard and reconcile with the franchise? Cherry on the cake, PatBev recently made a big foot call in LAproof that he wants to play it.
Indiana: Westbrook & Horton-Tucker vs. Malcolm Brodgon & Myles Turner
Brogdon has been on Californians’ radar for a while, with his profile potentially doing wonders alongside LeBron James. Turner would bring him a constant presence under the circle, being one of the best blockers in the league and endowed in addition to an interesting shot. The Pacers are in the midst of a rebuild, and agreeing to WestBeast’s one-year deal wouldn’t be too big of a deal. As for THT, it could very well interest them in the long term.
Miami: Westbrook & Horton-Tucker vs. Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson & Max Strus
The Lakers had an opportunity to sign Lowry a year ago, but they dropped the deal in favor of the former Thunder man. Trying to correct their mistake is therefore a serious possibility, especially since the 2019 champion has finished his season on a big controversy. Miami has tight finances, and getting the No. 0 would be a great help in the medium term. Robinson and Strus are potentially heading to South Beach, and would bring something Los Angeles is sorely lacking: shooting, scoring and youth off the bench.
Atlanta: Anthony Davis against John Collins, Clint Capela and a round of draft
Just like Russ, Anthony Davis is not immune to rumors, the Angelinos being annoyed by his repeated absences. By sending him to the Hawks, they would definitely turn the page while constituting a new racket holder. Both players are younger than The Brow, and each bring different qualities in attack and defense. Atlanta is also trying to part with it, which could facilitate negotiations. The Georgians could then offer a pair with great potential to Trae Young.
Clearly, it will be necessary to monitor the movements of the Lakers very closely, on the night of June 23 to 24. The earthquake across the league is not far away… As for Russell Westbrook, he had better prepare some suitcases just in case.