The Lakers will have the 2nd overall pick in this year’s NBA draft. With a young core already present, I thought it would be fun to take a look at a few random trade ideas for the Lakers.
Lakers receive: Devin Booker and Alex Len
Suns receive: #2 Overall Pick and Larry Nance, Jr.
The Suns have many more reasons to say no than the Lakers, but having the chance to go after Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons while also retaining your 4th and 13th draft pick can be tempting enough to rebuild the franchise. There also isn’t any sound logic that suggests Devin Booker can’t be that guy for the Suns.
Alex Len provides one reason: he’s due to be a restricted free agent if he plays out one more season. He could sign an extension, but why? There is so much money to be made with the cap jump in 2017-18, it can rise all the way to $108 million. The Suns will find themselves tasked with the same problem Toronto has this summer, how much do we pay our big man before we have to cut ties?
The post play isn’t pretty, but Len does have the physical tools to beat out his defender and occasionally get a basket off of brute strength alone.
Teams will probably start offering Biyombo $15-20 million per year this summer, is it that surprising to see Len get paid similar, if not more than Biyombo? He doesn’t make the game look pretty, but he can rebound and do a little bit of everything else at the age of 23. Letting the Lakers take on that cap hit isn’t the worst idea. Gaining a young asset like Larry Nance, Jr. is commendable.
Booker is a lot of fun, with a Klay Thompson-like ability to put up points in a short amount of time. He can catch and shoot with efficiency. He makes them at a high rate but it’s fun to see him use that threat to move the ball as well.
When it came to catch and shoot, he led all rookies who played 65 or more games and attempted at least 120 three-point field goals in 3P% and eFG%. That is pretty solid to start.
The pull up is where Booker can struggle. Out of all NBA players who have had over 300 pull up shots attempted, he is last with a field goal percentage of 31.3%. It doesn’t help much when the majority of his shots are pull ups at 36.4%.
Devin Booker doesn’t turn 20 until October; he has massive room to grow as a player. His final quarter of the season was pretty stellar, and it was hard to not enjoy the rookie’s game.
Lakers receive: Jahlil Okafor
Sixers receive: #2 Overall Pick
For some reason, Sixers’ fans love the idea of shipping Okafor out to Los Angeles for Russell or the #2 pick. As much as they love it, Lakers’ fans hate it just as much. It also doesn’t really matter what any of us thinks, but it’s amusing to see if a fanbase can will something that won’t happen.
Someone has to entertain the idea of this happening, that is why Lakers Outsiders has a person with my genius expertise.
OK. I entertained it. Let’s move on.
Lakers receive: Kevin Love
Cavaliers receive: #2 Pick overall
In the near hypothetical future, Kevin Love will have lost his 2nd finals in a row with Lebron and company. He might have performed badly after returning from a concussion, a poor performance after an elite showing from the Cavaliers that didn’t involve him. The trade to bring him to Cleveland made all the sense at the time, and it seems like a regrettable mistake at the present.
Love is shooting 34.5% inside the arc during these playoffs. How is he shooting when the shot counts for 3 points? 43.6%. He’s killing it from out there and so 46.8% of his 216 attempted field goals were threes.
Love may only be shooting three-pointers well, but it doesn’t take away how effective he can be when he uses that pump fake to clear some space and disrupt the defense. This doesn’t happen if he isn’t shooting that well from behind the arc.
The trade might be a tad unlikely if Cleveland loses, much less win. On top of that, what is there for Cleveland at two? Brandon Ingram would be a fun mix but I’m sure LeBron loves that idea as much as he loves Wiggins. It might be worth a look to move Love with Thompson on the team, and I’m sure Lakers’ fans want to see this to jumpstart fast-breaks.
Lakers receive: Paul George
Pacers receive: #2 pick, Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell
I know, I take a jab at the Sixers’ fanbase and follow up by having the audacity to write this one in. It’s not happening. I just love the idea of having such a major trade happen. This is a potential trade with major ripple effects. The Lakers would be in on everyone. Telling Durant and Whiteside to join Paul George is much more realistic than citing the young core in place.
The Pacers, well they’ll hate the trade. The city will hate that trade more than Donnie Darko hates airplanes, but, it can lead to a magnificent rebuild and eventual golden era for Indiana. George Hill, Russell, Ingram, Randle and Myles Turner is a quality step forward after taking a couple hundred steps back. You might not enjoy life without the playoffs, but with a weaker Eastern Conference and an aging Lebron James, who knows what youth and ambition can bring?
I get it. It won’t happen, but I’m sure Roy Hibbert isn’t the former Pacer that will save Los Angeles.
Lakers receive: Gordon Hayward
Jazz receive: #2 Overall Pick
The best trade that can be done. Gordon Hayward is close to perfect. No stats with this trade, just a completely biased opinion. Gordon Hayward is terrifying.
TERRIFYING. How does he do stuff without messing up his hair?
In all seriousness, he adds a much needed scoring presence to the Los Angeles lineup while Utah gets younger and avoids paying a massive contract to Hayward in the summer of 2017. Having Brandon Ingram slot in doesn’t hurt much either.
This man is a monster who has one flaw: he plays Clash Royale.
PS: I would also love to see him shoot 400-500 threes a season with a percentage closer to 40% than 35%. He just recently hit the 400 mark this regular season with a 3P% of 34.9%.
PPS: Thanks Jerry Khachoyan for suggesting this trade and sorry for not analyzing anything this time around, I think proof isn’t needed to marvel at this man’s basketball ability.