The Los Angeles Lakers are not just rebuilding through the draft, they also have a shot to make a big splash in free agency and trades. With teams and players being tossed around in NBA trade rumors, the Lakers might be one of the few teams with five starting assets to unload. One of the biggest they can put up for auction is one of their newest players, Brook Lopez.
While teams will ask about Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, Lopez might be the real prize for a contending team as the NBA approaches the trade deadline.
Lopez, just 29-years-old and one of the best low post scoring centers in the NBA, can make the youth transition easy for the Lakers while putting himself in place to earn his first NBA championship ring. However, the rebuilding process could get a huge jumpstart if the Lakers were to trade Lopez this season.
Why the Lakers Should Trade Lopez
Lopez is the highest paid player on the Lakers this season with an earning slightly above $22 million. While the Lakers have the cap space to take on his deal, Magic Johnson may have second thoughts about re-upping with Lopez after this season. Why should he? Lopez has been great throughout his career, but the Lakers need a player in the paint willing to go the extra mile on the defensive end of the floor. For the season, Lopez has averages of 15.3 points and 4.4 rebounds. If those rebound totals are a shock to you, then you may not know Lopez all that well. Scoring the ball has been easy; however, it’s the lack of rebounding that has continued to haunt him.
Textbook post moves from Brook Lopez???? pic.twitter.com/VklGRE72UY
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 3, 2017
If the Lakers continue to struggle by the time the trade deadline arrives, it will be wise for the Lakers to field calls about the big man. Lopez will need a place where a team already has a strong defensive core in place. The Golden State Warriors come to mind if Lopez is just a playoff rental. Besides the Warriors, a team like the Toronto Raptors or the Milwaukee Bucks could also make a play.
Brook Lopez enters @ESPNNBA action averaging 27.3 PPG in his last 3.
Only Harden, LeBron, Dame & KP have more total points in that span. pic.twitter.com/NMeuZItsdz
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) November 8, 2017
Moving Lopez also means preparing for the future. If the rumors are true, then the Lakers must begin to shed money off their cap for the possible signing of Paul George this coming summer. The season is still young, and while the Lakers have had their ups and downs, keeping Lopez is still a possibility. However, if the wheels begin to fall off, the Lakers must do what’s best for their long-term and not the present.
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]