The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly have three players in mind as an ultimate “pie-in-the-sky” trade scenario this season.
According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, the Lakers are interested in several players, with Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal being at the top of the list if somehow they were to become gettable in the trade market.
“In addition, other names that have come up are DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Kuzma, Myles Turner, Buddy Hield, Kyrie Irving and Doug McDermott,” Buha wrote.
“All of these players fit the bill as either wings, bigs or stars.
“In the ultimate pie-in-the-sky scenario, the Lakers have interest in Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal if any of the three stars were to become available.”
Lakers fans shouldn’t get too excited about the team’s wish list (Durant, Beal and Lillard), as it’s unlikely that any of these players become available for trade. Even if they were to become available, it’s likely that the Los Angeles wouldn’t have the assets necessary to make a trade.
Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets this past offseason, but he has since rescinded that request, and the Nets are playing well in the 2022-23 campaign.
Brooklyn enters Friday’s action as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, and it’s won eight of its last 10 games. With Irving in the final year of his contract, it doesn’t make sense for the Nets to blow things up while they are still competing.
As for Lillard, he’s in a similar situation to Durant, as the Portland Trail Blazers are off to a strong start in the 2022-23 season. Lillard has returned from an injury that kept him out for a good chunk of the 2021-22 campaign, and he has the team sitting in the No. 5 spot in the West.
Beal would make the most sense for the group as a potential trade candidate, but he just re-signed with the Washington Wizards. It’s hard to see the team giving up on his future this quickly, even though the Wizards are struggling as of late, losing eight straight games.
The Lakers have unprotected first-round picks in the 2027 and 2029 drafts that they could use in a trade, but that may not be enough for these teams to part ways with their star players.
It seems like the players listed by Buha prior to the three superstars are more realistic targets if the team decided to pull the trigger on a trade this season.
The Lakers are 11-16 on the season and hold the No. 12 spot in the Western Conference. They certainly could use some more help around LeBron James and Anthony Davis if they want to compete for a playoff spot in the West this season.