May 17, 2024

It’s just a matter of time until the yearly trade conflicts start, as January 15th gets increasingly apparent in the road ahead and December 15th grows farther in the rearview mirror. A number of notable players, including Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, switched teams during the previous campaign. The Los Angeles Lakers emerged from the deadline as maybe the most improved club, despite those superstars’ change of surroundings.

At last year’s deadline, Rob Pelinka turned Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley, Thomas Bryant, Kendrick Nunn, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, and a bevy of future draft picks into D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley, Mo Bamba, Davon Reed and a few draft future draft picks in return. That was, in hindsight, a haul. The thing about that heist was that while many assumed the front office would move Russell Westbrook, no one expected the type of return they received.

Anticipating the previously mentioned trade season, the flurry of rumors makes it clear that the front office will be in operation again before of the deadline. It will be interesting to see if they make any adjustments, but they could definitely improve in areas where they are weak, like shooting. Though all indications point to a Zach LaVine deal going through, the team may be turned off by the subsequent lack of cap flexibility that would come with his signing.

10 realistic Lakers trade packages:

D’Angelo Russell ($17.3 million) + Jalen Hood-Schifino ($3.7 million) + 2025 2nd Round Rick for Gary Trent Jr ($18.6 million) + Malachi Flynn ($3.9 million)

WHY THE LAKERS DO IT: GTJ may not be having his best overall season to date, but he is still hitting 36% of his 5.4 attempts from 3 per game. Not only that, but the ‘6’5″ wing has a reputation for peskiness on the defensive end. He could be a great fit next to LeBron and AD on the offensive end while offering a feisty defensive option at the point of attack. Flynn is a throw-in for salary-matching purposes, but the purple and gold could do a lot worse than him as an end-of-bench option.

WHY THE RAPTORS DO IT: The Raptors should go ahead and rip the bandaid that comes with a rebuild. Scottie Barnes is a cornerstone and should be the only untouchable on the present roster. With Trent Jr playing on an expiring deal, they would be wise to look to obtain something for him as opposed to letting him walk for nothing in free agency.

Russell might not be in the long-term plans, but his shooting could be a nice complement next to Barnes for the interim. They get a second rounder as well, and the 20-year-old Hood-Schifino has a lot of promise as a big combo guard.

D’Angelo Russell ($17.3 million) + Jalen Hood-Schifino ($3.7 million) + 2025, 2027 2nd Round Picks for Malcom Brogdon ($22.5 million)

WHY THE LAKERS DO IT: Brogdon has been invaluable for the Blazers through the early season struggles of Scoot Henderson. Last year’s 6th Man of the Year has once again been great, and his fit with the Lakers is undeniably snug.

WHY THE BLAZERS DO IT: Now that Henderson appears to be finding somewhat of a groove, the Blazers should be more motivated to part with Brogdon. It almost seemed inevitable that the veteran would hit the trade block from the moment he was acquired by Rip City, The goal would obviously be to obtain a 1st rounder for him, but two 2nd rounders plus the 17th pick in the 2023 draft (JHS) should make up for that.

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