The Los Angeles Lakers will explore every option in the upcoming offseason in order to build a title contending. Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times recently reported that no one on the Lakers is “untouchable,” and they are willing to part ways with the likes of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, or Josh Hart “if an offer blows them away.” Upon hearing the rumors, LaVar Ball made another bold statement and said that the Lakers will never trade his son Lonzo.
However, as everyone knows, LaVar is not the general manager nor the president of basketball operations to control the team’s decision. As the 2018 offseason draws near, Jason Reed of Fansided’s LA Sports Hub suggested multiple trade scenarios involving the Lakers’ young core. These include the deal that would send Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard to Los Angeles for Lonzo Ball, Luol Deng, and a 2020 protected first-round pick.
Lillard and the Trail Blazers were very impressive during the 2017-18 NBA regular season, but their real strength was measured in Western Conference Playoffs. The New Orleans Pelicans, who played without DeMarcus Cousins, easily dismantled them in the first round in just four games. After suffering an early playoff exit, the Trail Blazers are expected to make a big move that involves one of their superstars this summer.
As Reed noted, the Damian Lillard-to-Lakers trade is still unlikely to happen for now. However, it’s intriguing to know how Lillard can affect Lakers’ free agent recruitment this summer. Despite losing Lonzo Ball and a future first-round pick, the Lakers will be having a superstar point guard while successfully unloading Luol Deng and the remaining years on his contract. Moving Deng’s contract will give them a higher chance of pursuing LeBron James and Paul George when free agency hits in July.
“For the Lakers, the team would be able to get Deng’s contract off of the books while bringing in a star to lure in other superstars. In making this deal, the Lakers would theoretically still have enough salary cap space to bring in both LeBron James and Paul George, forming the scariest big three in basketball.”
The “Big Three” of Lillard, James, and George will undeniably give a huge headache to any powerhouse teams in the league, even to the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors. If the Lakers succeed to acquire the three superstars, it will not be a surprise if Brook Lopez agrees to return to Los Angeles on a veteran minimum deal.