Since the successful acquisition of LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka made it clear that they are not done yet in upgrading their roster. Despite having the best basketball player on the planet, the Lakers obviously need more star power in order to beat the reigning NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, in a best-of-seven series.
The Lakers have a plethora of trade assets to engage in a trade deal before the February NBA trade deadline. In the past months, New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis emerged on the top of the list of L.A.’s potential trade targets. Unfortunately, the Pelicans don’t seem to have any intention of making Davis available on the trade market anytime soon, as they will try to convince him to sign a massive contract extension next summer.
With Anthony Davis likely to remain in New Orleans, the Lakers may consider targeting other NBA superstars before the February NBA trade deadline. In a Twitter post, Brandon Robinson of Scoop B revealed that the Lakers could trade for Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards or Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic.
“The likelihood of an AD trade to the Lakers ‘may not be as promising at the deadline,’ I’m hearing. The culprit? Lonzo Ball’s injury. League source tells me: ‘That’s not going to stop the Lakers from trying to make a run for AD before the deadline. If AD can’t be had at the deadline, a Lakers source shared that LA may go the Bradley Beal/Nikola Vucevic route to get help for the season and to use for future trade pieces to ‘potentially acquire AD this summer.'”
— Final Four Online (@finalfouronline) January 26, 2019
Bradley Beal and Nikola Vucevic offer different skill sets that could help the Lakers become a more competitive team this season. Beal will give the Lakers another reliable scoring option, and could tremendously improve their three-point shooting. In the eight straight years he dominated the Eastern Conference, LeBron James found success when being surrounded by shooters.
Bradley Beal won’t have a hard time sharing the court with LeBron James. After years of playing alongside John Wall in Washington, Beal learned how to excel in an off-ball capacity. However, trading for Beal will be expensive for the Lakers and may require at giving up either Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, or Lonzo Ball.
Most people will definitely wonder why the Lakers should still consider trading for a player like Nikola Vucevic. They currently have a logjam at the center position with JaVale McGee, Tyson Chandler, Ivica Zubac, and Mo Wagner. However, none of the Lakers’ centers have the ability to space the floor like Vucevic. Having a big man who can be a threat from beyond the arc will make it easier for LeBron James to penetrate the opposing team’s defense. Unlike Bradley Beal, the Lakers could acquire Vucevic from the Magic by only using a future draft asset.