A wild four-team blockbuster trade has been proposed involving the Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets.
In a February 2 column called “A 4-Team NBA Trade That Would Change Everything at the Deadline,” Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey came up with the following trade:
- Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Bojan Bogdanovic, Kyle Lowry and Ish Smith
- Detroit Pistons Receive: Russell Westbrook, Zeke Nnaji, a 2028 first-round pick swap with the Denver Nuggets, a 2028 second-round pick from the Miami Heat and a 2029 first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers
- Miami Heat Receive: Michael Porter Jr., Bones Hyland, Marvin Bagley III, a 2027 first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers and a 2029 first-round pick from the Denver Nuggets
- Denver Nuggets Receive: Jimmy Butler, Alec Burks and a 2027 second-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers would receive Kyle Lowry from the Heat, Bojan Bogdanovic from the Pistons and Ish Smith from the Nuggets and lose Russell Westbrook, a 2027 first-round pick, a 2027 second-round pick and a 2029 first-round pick.
“Thirty-eight-year-old LeBron James has proved himself worthy of a win-now trade this season (as if the previous 19 years weren’t enough). With 30.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.1 assists, he’s still putting up numbers that would earn him MVP buzz in most other seasons. And, when he’s been healthy, Anthony Davis has arguably been even better than LeBron (he tops him in box plus/minus and certainly has the bigger defensive impact). That top two can still compete for a title, provided it’s surrounded by a decent supporting cast,” Bailey wrote. “To this point in the season, it just hasn’t been. There are two highly coveted assets and a massive expiring contract that can fix that.
“We’ve heard or read about a ton of ‘Russell Westbrook and picks’ trades, but months of reporting suggests the front office isn’t interested in completing any such deal if it doesn’t make the Lakers a contender. Given the parity in the middle of the Western Conference and the fact that the sub-.500 Lakers are within three games of sixth place, L.A. could talk itself into this deal making it a contender.”
The Lakers Would Have a New, Versatile Starting Lineup
Bailey believes the Lakers would start Lowry, Bogdanovic, Rui Hachimura, LeBron James and Anthony Davis if this four-team trade he came up with happened. Lowry and Bogdanovic should be good fits next to James and Davis since they can hit perimeter jump shots.
“It’d certainly be an older lineup, but the combination of playmaking and shooting in a group that includes Kyle Lowry, LeBron James, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rui Hachimura and Anthony Davis is good enough to spur a regular-season run and upend an underwhelming third or fourth seed in the first round. And once you get LeBron a little playoff momentum, there’s no telling what the Lakers might be able to pull off,” Bailey wrote.
Lowry is making $28.3 million this season. The six-time All-Star and one-time NBA champion signed a three-year, $85 million contract with the Heat in August 2021.
Meanwhile, Bogdanovic is earning $19.3 million in 2022-23. He signed a four-year, $73.1 million contract with the Utah Jazz in July 2019 and then agreed to a two-year, $39 million extension with the Pistons in October 2022.
Kyle Lowry & Bojan Bogdanovic Can Shoot the Basketball
Lowry is a career 36.7% shooter from beyond the arc, while Bogdanovic is at 39.4%. Both players are better shooters than Westbrook, who is only a career 30.4% shooter from long-range.
“Yes, it’s safer and perhaps justifiable to hang onto the picks and maintain flexibility going forward, but there’s no guarantee a year that feels this wide-open comes along again,” Bailey wrote. “And, considering how far he’s already pushed this boundary, there’s no telling how many more prime (or prime-ish) years LeBron has left. The Russ trade was a bold swing, but his game simply doesn’t mesh with those of LeBron and AD. They need to be surrounded by shooting, and this deal accomplishes that.”
The NBA trade deadline is February 9.