The offseason has barely started but the Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to every name under the sun. One name that’s gained a lot of traction lately is Russell Westbrook. The team has a serious interest in the former MVP, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
However, one of his Washington Wizards teammates could be an even better fit with the Lakers. There have been rumblings that Bradley Beal may request a trade soon. If that happens, he’ll be one of the most sought-after players in the NBA this offseason.
According to Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald, the Lakers could be one of the teams that he aims to play for.
“Beal — who can become a free agent next July – could give Washington a list of preferred destinations if he asks for a trade, but that isn’t definite,” Jackson and Chiang wrote. “The [Miami] Heat, Golden State and the two Los Angeles teams are among teams that appeal to him.”
Beal will be a lot more expensive in a trade than Westbrook so it’s hard to see the Lakers putting a package together that will be appealing to Washington.
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Beal a Better Fit for Lakers Than Westbrook
There’s no doubt the Lakers would love to have Beal. He fits in seamlessly with the team’s roster. He’s an elite scorer and willing defender. With Anthony Davis and LeBron James on the roster, they don’t need a distributor or a rim protector. They need a wing who can put up a bunch of points and shoot the three.
While Westbrook has his own set of skills, he does not fit in well with Davis and LeBron. He’s a 30.5% career 3-point shooter and needs the ball in his hand to be the most effective. It’s hard to see him thriving with the current Lakers roster. Beal is a much easier player to simply plug into the lineup and play at a high level. A big three of Beal, Davis and LeBron may be the best in the league.
Beal to Lakers Isn’t Happening
Out of all the possibly available players in the NBA, Beal might just be the best fit with the Lakers. Davis and he are both 28-years-old so the two could usher in the future of Los Angeles basketball once LeBron is forced to retire. If there is any way for the Lakers to get them, they need to make it happen.
However, it’s almost impossible to see a path in which the Wizards deal Beal to the Lakers. They simply don’t have enough assets. A package surrounding Kyle Kuzma, Talen Horton-Tucker and Dennis Schroder isn’t likely to excite Washington. Also, that would be contingent on Horton-Tucker and Schroder being willing to go to the Wizards in a sign-and-trade, which is also unlikely. When the Lakers traded for Davis, they gave up almost all of their best tradeable assets. Thanks to that, the team will have to hope that Davis and LeBron with solid role players is enough.