Though they currently hold the best record in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers are still expected to be active before the 2021 trade deadline. They may have two of the best players in the league, but as some of their rivals continue to grow stronger, they might be forced to find a third star that would help LeBron James and Anthony Davis defend their throne this season. One of the most realistic trade targets for the Purple and Gold is veteran shooting guard Victor Oladipo of the Houston Rockets.
In a recent article, Lee Tran of Fadeaway World came up with a blockbuster trade idea that would enable Oladipo to join forces with James and Davis. In the proposed scenario, the Lakers would be sending a package that includes Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the Rockets in exchange for Oladipo.
"The Los Angeles Lakers are the favorites for the Finals, but if they have to face the Brooklyn Nets, they're going to need all the talent they could get. Victor Oladipo could want to win a championship with LeBron James: depending on how the season goes, he could then leave or stay in Los Angeles. Victor Oladipo is a two-way guard who would be great defensively: on the offensive end, his game is versatile enough to slot in behind two superstars. Oladipo is a player who is currently averaging 21.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 4.7 APG."
Though it would cost them two important members of their rotation, trading for Oladipo would make a lot of sense for the Lakers. After spending the past two years recovering from an injury, he's currently in perfect shape and slowly regaining his All-Star form. If he manages to stay healthy and continue to improve his game, he would be an incredible addition to the Lakers.
Oladipo would be an upgrade over Caldwell-Pope at the starting shooting guard position. Compared to Kuzma, he's more capable of fulfilling the role as the Lakers' third star behind James and Davis. Aside from being a very reliable scoring option and playmaker, he's also a great perimeter defender. Adding Oladipo to the core of James, Davis, Dennis Schroder, and Marc Gasol would give the Lakers a better chance of beating any powerhouse team in the league in a best-of-seven series.
Meanwhile, if the potential deal pushes through, it would not only be beneficial for the Lakers, but also for the Rockets. Instead of losing Oladipo in the 2021 free agency without getting anything in return, the suggested trade would allow them to turn his expiring contract into a young and promising talent in Kuzma and a three-and-D wingman in Caldwell-Pope. If the Rockets decide to undergo a rebuilding process, they could flip KCP into young prospects or future draft assets before the 2021 trade deadline.