The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the teams expected to be active on the trade market in the 2022 NBA offseason. The Lakers may be heading into a massive disappointment in the 2021-22 NBA season, but they still don't have any plan of undergoing a full-scale rebuild this summer. Instead of taking a different route, the Lakers could find a way to give LeBron James and Anthony Davis a better supporting cast in the 2022-23 NBA season.
Proposed Lakers-Thunder Trade
One of the potential trade partners for the Lakers in the 2022 NBA offseason is the Oklahoma City Thunder. In a recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report created a list of offseason trades for the league's most disappointing teams. For the Lakers, it's the hypothetical deal that would enable them to acquire two intriguing role players from the Thunder.
In the proposed trade scenario, the Lakers would be sending Talen Horton-Tucker and a 2025 second-round pick to the Thunder in exchange for Kenrich Williams, Mike Muscala, and a 2022 second-round pick.
Lakers Get Two Reliable Veterans
Trading Horton-Tucker would be a difficult decision for the Lakers, but it's the type of sacrifice they should be willing to make if they want to build a more competitive roster in the 2022-23 NBA season. By sending THT to OKC, the Lakers would be receiving two reliable veterans who would boost their second unit. Williams would give the Lakers a "high-level three-and-D forward" capable of defending multiple positions and knocking down shots from beyond the arc. By bringing back Muscala to Los Angeles, the Lakers would get a floor-spacing big man who could serve as the primary backup for Davis next season.
Chance To Add Another Young Talent In Upcoming Draft
Aside from acquiring Williams and Muscala, the Lakers would also be receiving a draft pick that they could use to add another young prospect in the 2022 NBA Draft. The second-round selection may not hold much value to most NBA teams, but the Lakers are known for discovering talents outside the first 30 picks. This was proven by Horton-Tucker, who was selected as the No. 46 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and Austin Reaves, who went undrafted last July.
Thunder Add Another Promising Player
The proposed trade deal would make a lot of sense for the Thunder, especially now that they are still in the middle of the rebuilding process. By sending Williams and Muscala to the Lakers, the Thunder would be acquiring another young and promising talent who fits the timeline of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
"The Thunder should be a better fit for Horton-Tucker (who won't turn 22 until November 25), giving him more playing time and on-ball responsibilities for a rebuilding team," Swartz wrote. "In 21 career starts, Horton-Tucker has averaged 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.4 steals. With three first-round picks coming, OKC should be fine flipping their current second for a future Lakers second in return."