$45 Million 6th Man of the Year Floated as Alternative Trade Target for Lakers

Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Head coach Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine as a trade target since the summer of 2022 when he was an unrestricted free agent. But the Lakers have taken a cautious approach to making any outside additions to the roster.

LaVine – a Klutch Sports client and Los Angeles resident in the offseason – comes with injury, on-court, and contract concerns.

“If they don’t go for Zach LaVine, could there be a more of a minor move? I guess for like Malcolm Brogdon,” said J.E. Skeets on the “No Dunks” podcast on January 2. “Someone that’s been around the block a little bit that you can trust a little bit more. Some point guard duties, decent defensively, can shoot.”

Brogdon is averaging 16.2 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.6 rebounds, shooting 42.3% from beyond the arc this season for the Portland Trail Blazers.

The three-point efficiency is the second-best mark of his career.

“Brogdon, I think, could be getable,” Skeets continued. “I can’t imagine the Blazers like, ‘Oh, we got to hold on to him.’ Just maybe more attainable. But they got to they got to get something there.”

The 31-year-old is one of just three players on the Blazers’ roster over 27 years old. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year, he is in the first year of a two-year, $45 million contract.

Blazers’ Malcolm Brogdon and Abitious Trade Target for Lakers

Portland acquired Brogdon along with big man Robert Williams for Jrue Holiday in the wake of the trade sending Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Lakers could have a tough time acquiring him directly since many of their best options for players to include in a deal would be redundant on a rebuilding Blazers roster. But a trade that lands Brogdon and Blazers forward Jerami Grant might be worth bringing in another team.

They might have to send someone like D’Angelo Russell out in a separate deal.

That could allow them to recoup more draft capital (which could be of more interest to Portland than players in their rebuild) to include in an offer for the Blazers’ veteran duo.

The biggest hurdle in that regard could be finding a third team willing to take Russell on without needing to have draft capital attached. He is averaging 10.1 points and shooting 32.7% from beyond the arc over his last 12 appearances.

Lakers Injuries Further Complicate Matters

The Lakers’ slew of injuries this season could also pose a hurdle as Russell joins Rui Hachimura and Gabe Vincent, among others, on the injured list.

Hachimura exited the loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on January 1 early with a calf strain that will keep him out of their next tilt versus the Miami Heat on January 3. Vincent is out for another month as he recovers from knee surgery.

All of this could work against the Lakers on the court and in trade negotiations.

Injured players can’t boost their value with their play, and the injuries themselves further reduce whatever value they already have.