Lakers Urged to Pursue Trade for $428 Million Superstar

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka (left) and head coach Darvin Ham

Getty Lakers GM Rob Pelinka (left) and head coach Darvin Ham

The Los Angeles Lakers have been urged to pursue a trade for a $428 million superstar.

In a November 22 article called “3 Trade Targets for Lakers to Consider Before Rumor Mill Picks Up,” Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley said the Lakers should think about trading for Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal. The three-time All-Star has a no-trade clause in his contract, so Los Angeles can only acquire Beal if he requests a trade from Washington and approves a trade to the Lakers.

“If the Lakers can ever get their hands on Beal, he could be the biggest hope to cure much of what ails their punch-less offense,” Buckley wrote. “The fact that he operates as both an on-ball shot-creator and an off-ball spot-up shooter means he should be a snug fit both alongside L.A.’s other stars and by himself when the others need a breather.”

Beal signed a five-year, $251 million contract with the Wizards this past summer. He’s making $43.3 million this season and will have earned more than $428 million in NBA money when his contract expires following the 2026-27 season.

“It’s too soon to make that call now, but once the 29-year-old becomes trade-eligible in mid-January?” Buckley wrote. “If Washington looks trapped near the back end of the Eastern Conference’s middle class? And none of the young Wizards have flashed fortune-changing upside? That hardly seems absurd.”

Lakers Want Beal

Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report reported on November 10 that the Lakers are interested in trading for Beal, who is averaging 22.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists this season.

“A star player whom the Lakers are known to covet is Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal, sources say,” Haynes reported. “Going after the 10-year veteran would only be an option if Beal were to request a trade, a tactic he has been reluctant to exercise.”

Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated reported on November 8 that the Lakers are waiting for a “specific player” to trade for. Los Angeles could trade Russell Westbrook and its future draft picks in 2027 and 2029 to Washington for Beal. The Lakers, of course, acquired Westbrook from the Wizards in the summer of 2021. The blockbuster trade failed, as Los Angeles missed the playoffs last season and Westbrook was second in the NBA in turnovers and had the sixth-worst effective field goal percentage, making him a poor fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Does Beal Want to Be in California?

An NBA executive thinks Beal gets traded and that the Lakers are his landing spot, according to Beck. The 29-year-old has career averages of 22.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists with the Wizards.

“So here was the quote from the Western Conference executive I spoke to who had mentioned this,” Beck said on “The Crossover with Chris Mannix and Howard Beck” podcast. “He says, ‘Washington is the one that I keep thinking that’s going to happen. If you’re the Lakers, don’t you think you can get Bradley Beal? He’s got a no-trade clause. He wants to come to California.’”

The Lakers could compete for a championship with a Big 3 of James, Davis and Beal. That’s three high-level scorers who know what it takes to win.

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