Lakers Implored to Trade For $251 Million Superstar

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers

On November 9, a report stating that the Los Angeles Lakers are monitoring an unnamed player surfaced via Howard Beck on The Crossover Podcast.

According to Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale, the player who projects to be the Lakers’ most logical trade target is Bradley Beal, as he would instantly improve the purple and gold’s offensive potency – both from the perimeter and in the lanes.

“Basketball reasons abound for him landing in L.A.. He is the type of primary scorer and secondary playmaker who will have no issue playing off LeBron James and ferrying the offense without him…The Washington Wizards inexplicably gave Beal a no-trade clause in his latest contract. That gives him the final say in where he goes next. If he wants to play for the Lakers, the Wizards don’t really have a choice. They have to accept the Westbrook-plus-picks-and-swaps package…To be clear: Beal has given no indication that he wants out of Washington,” Favale wrote on November 10.

Beal, 29, is a dynamic scoring threat who has excelled when playing off of dominant ball-handlers before, most notably John Wall and Russell Westbrook during their tenures with the Wizards. However, given that Beal’s contract has multiple years left to run, it’s highly unlikely that Washington’s front office would be held to ransom by the Lakers, especially if they felt they could convince Beal to remain in Washington by making some additional moves of their own.

What did Howard Beck Say?

Speaking on his The Crossover Podcast, Beck created a bit of a frenzy with is report that the Lakers are targeting an unnamed player, with the hopes that they shake loose before the trade deadline.

“I will add one thing without going into all the detail, but I was canvassing a bunch of front office folks last week when I was workshopping my idea of ‘Can the Nets tear down now? Should they just tear down now? What could they reasonably get for Kevin Durant? Could they get anything for Kyrie Irving? Could they get anything at all for Ben Simmons?’ And in those discussions, when I brought up the Lakers, the pushback I was getting was they’re waiting for a specific player. That they’re not doing the Pacer deal, that they won’t do the Kyrie deal now that we for sure thought they would do a couple months ago, is an indication that the Lakers are waiting for a bigger piece to come loose that they think they can trade Westbrook and the two future firsts for,” Beck said during the episode.

When canvassing the current league’s landscape, and factoring in star players on underperforming teams, Beal quickly stands out as the ideal target for the Lakers’ front office, but they will surely face a struggle to prise him away from the Wizards.

Anthony Davis Begins to Apply Pressure

Speaking to the media following the Lakers’ latest loss – a 114-101 defeat to the LA Clippers, Anthony Davis began to apply some pressure onto the front office, noting how his current role is limiting his ability to be impactful on the court.

“I was able to roam a lot, I was playing the four then, JaVale (McGee) was playing the five, and Dwight (Howard) was playing the five. You know, guarding the perimeter and I got those guys behind me, or weakside helps, we were getting blocks from the weak side. Now, when I’m the five, I’m the one in the actions, pick-and-rolls, the one guarding the post – things like that…In 19-20, I was a roamer, when I can be on whoever the forward is and roam around and help protect everyone, it’s tough for me to do that when I’m guarding the five,” Davis said.

It’s well documented that Davis prefers to play as a power forward, so his comments to the media should come as little shock, however, it does send a message to the front office that their frontcourt issues are glaring, and that their star big man is likely to grow disillusioned in his current role for the team.

Davis has been impressive for the Lakers this season, averaging 23 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while shooting 54.1% from the field. Los Angeles will get another chance to try and snap their losing streak when they face the Sacramento Kings on November 11. 

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