The Los Angeles Lakers have limited options when it comes to drastically improving the team’s roster this offseason. The franchise cannot expect drastically different results unless they make major changes in the coming months.
Russell Westbrook is the most widely discussed Lakers player in trade rumors but the star guard is unlikely to command enough in a deal to dramatically lead to more wins for Los Angeles. If the Lakers truly want to maximize their win-now window with LeBron James, the franchise will need to consider trading Anthony Davis. The eight-time All-Star helped the Lakers win an NBA championship in 2020 but his career has been derailed by injuries playing in a combined 76 games over the last two seasons.
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley suggested a trade proposal that has Los Angeles make a deal with their enemies in Boston swapping Davis for dynamic wing Jaylen Brown. With the Celtics in contention to make the NBA finals, the chances of Boston making a major shakeup this offseason likely depends on how the postseason concludes.
The Celtics’ deep playoff run puts to the test the fodder that Brown and co-star Jayson Tatum cannot play together on a contending team. The deal could have appeal for the Lakers as Brown posted 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 35.8% from long range in 66 games this season.
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NBA Exec on A.D. Celtics Deal: ‘The Lakers Would Have to Consider That’
Back in February, Heavy discussed a similar potential blockbuster deal, but the Celtics’ season has since taken off with Boston becoming a championship contender. Heavy.com’s NBA insider Sean Deveney detailed a conversation he had with an NBA executive who suggested a possible Lakers-Celtics trade. The exec’s proposal has the Lakers also receiving Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and Aaron Nesmith in addition to Brown in exchange for Davis and Talen Horton-Tucker.
“It was no secret Danny [Ainge] wanted him (in 2019),” the NBA executive told Heavy. “He would have given up Tatum in a heartbeat for AD, they wanted to offer Brown but it would have come down to Tatum. And he would have done it in the end, I think. Now the Lakers would want Tatum back but there is no way the Celtics do that.
“But put AD in a deal with Horton-Tucker, for Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Aaron Nesmith? The Lakers would have to consider that. I’d take it. But they made such an effort to bring AD to that team and if they are going to deal him, they would only send him where he wants to be. And I just don’t think Boston would ever be a team on his list.”
LeBron Is Likely to Push Back Against the Lakers Trading A.D.
Trading Davis would be a difficult decision given the superstar is part of the James-endorsed Klutch Sports agency. For the Lakers to consider trading Davis, they would likely need for James to sign off on the deal, and the NBA great has been public about his affinity for playing with his good friend. The Celtics were connected to Davis when he was with the Pelicans, and the big man made it clear he had no desire to land in Boston.
Despite all the obstacles to a potential deal, the frame of the trade makes some sense for both teams. Unless James signs an extension this offseason, the NBA legend will become a free agent in 2023. The clock is ticking for the Lakers to find a creative way to go from a non-playoff team to contender in just a few months.