Wild 4-Team Trade Proposal Sees Lakers Upgrade Roster at 3 Positions of Need

Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers

If the Los Angeles Lakers are genuinely serious about contending for an NBA championship this season, then they may want to seriously consider a trade proposal that Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus outlined on November 23.

The trade involved four teams, the Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Hornets, and Phoenix Suns, with Pincus’ expecting it to look like this:

Lakers receive: Terry Rozier, Landry Shamet, and Mason Plumlee

Warriors receive: Jae Crowder, and PJ Washington

Suns receive: Kelly Oubre Jr., and Donte DiVincenzo

Hornets receive: Russell Westbrook, James Wiseman, 2023 1st-Round Pick (via PHX, Top-20 Protected), 2027 1st-Round Pick (via LAL, Top-10 Protected), 2023 2nd-Round Pick (via LAL), 2025 2nd-Round Pick (via LAL), 2025 2nd-Round Pick (via GSW, originally CHA)

Assuming the Lakers went ahead with Pincus’ trade proposal, they would be revitalizing a stagnant roster with an electric ball-handler in Rozier, who is used to playing off-ball alongside multiple star talents – see LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward in Charlotte, along with a sharpshooter in Shamet, and a reliable back-up center in Plumlee.
When you also factor in the fact that all three of Rozier, Shamet, and Plumlee fill a position of need for Los Angeles’, and that the Lakers would retain their 2029 first-round pick, and could still see their 2027 pick convey if it landed outside of the top-10, this deal would feel like a significant win for Rob Pelinka and the front office.

Westbrook’s Recent Performances Are Improving His Value

Since Russell Westbrook was positioned in a bench role for the Lakers, his performances have taken a significant leap, and Los Angeles’ has looked sturdier throughout games, both offensively and defensively.

According to a November 10 report by Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes, Westbrook’s rapid improvements have ensured teams are beginning to take notice, and interest in his services is back on the rise.

“With Russell Westbrook thriving in his new role as a sixth man, the Lakers are now receiving calls about his availability, sources say, but talks are not at a serious stage,” Haynes wrote.

One would assume that it’s the increased value Westbrook currently has around the league that would ensure a trade of the magnitude Pincus is proposing is a realistic possibility. Of course, being a large expiring contract doesn’t hurt either.


Patrick Beverley Comes Under Fire

Westbrook isn’t the only point guard to feel the pressure of representing the Lakers this season, as Patrick Beverley recently came in for some criticism from the media following his decision to defend Austin Reaves during a loss to the Phoenix Suns. 

Shortly after the November 22 contest, Nick Wright of Fox Sports took to Twitter to question why Beverley was still in the NBA, let alone playing for one of the league’s most successful franchises. 

“I’ve said it for years and I will say it again: There’s no reason for Patrick Beverley to be in the league. None whatsoever. A blight on the sport. And to the fact that he’s also now, literally, the worst offensive player in the entire league & it just makes it more obvious,” Wright Tweeted.

However, Beverley does provide a strong point-of-attack defense and has shown a willingness to stand up for his teammates, which will only amplify his voice in the locker room, and that alone has value, regardless of his offensive limitations. Still, Pincus’ trade proposal would ensure Beverley would become a bench player for the Lakers, and that is arguably a role he’s best suited for.

 

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