The Los Angeles Lakers only have one goal in the 2019 NBA offseason which is to surround LeBron James with quality players that could help them rise to the top of the Western Conference and win an NBA championship title. Last summer, the Lakers purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the 2019 NBA free agency where the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, and Kemba Walker will be available on the market.
Aside from hunting free agents, the Lakers are also expected to be aggressive on the trade market in search for LeBron James’ superstar teammate. As of now, New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis is topping the list of the Lakers’ trade targets but if he decides to stay or is traded somewhere else, the Purple and Gold could go after other NBA superstars who will be on the trading block next summer. According to Evan Dammarell of Forbes, another ideal trade target for the Lakers is Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.
Bradley Beal will undeniably be an incredible addition to the Lakers, giving them a very reliable scoring option next to LeBron James. In the eight consecutive years he dominated the Eastern Conference, James found success when being surrounded by shooters. Having a legitimate three-point threat like Beal on the floor will make it easier for James to penetrate the opposing team’s defense.
To acquire Bradley Beal, Dammarell believes that a trade package including Lonzo Ball and the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft “should be more than enough” to convince the Wizards to make a deal. However, things could start to get complicated if the Wizards also want to unload some of the bloated contracts. In this scenario, Dammarell suggested that the Lakers could seek help from James’ former team – the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Thankfully, there’s a team that James knows all too well that can make this trade happen. The Cleveland Cavaliers are deep into a rebuild after James left town to join the Lakers, and are more than willing to take on bloated contracts in order to help expedite the process. Cleveland also has J.R. Smith’s partially guaranteed contract worth $3.9 million, the twenty-sixth overall pick, as well as future expiring contracts like Tristan Thompson ($18.5 million), Brandon Knight ($15.6 million), Jordan Clarkson ($13.4 million), John Henson ($9.7 million) and Matthew Dellavedova ($9.6 million) to work with as well.”
By serving as the third team in the potential Bradley Beal-to-Lakers trade, the Cavaliers will not just do LeBron James a favor, but it will also help them acquire assets that could be essential to their long-term future. Trading their expiring contracts for future draft picks will enable the Cavaliers to surround Collin Sexton with more young and promising talents that could help them return to title contention in the near future.