The Los Angeles Lakers have turned their season around, but a trade target could push them right over the edge into Finals contention.
The Los Angeles Lakers started the season 0-5 and then went 2-10 in their first 12 games. Since then, they’ve gone 9-5 in the subsequent 14 games.
At 11-15 overall, they’ve certainly improved thanks to Anthony Davis looking like an MVP candidate at times and LeBron James continuing to defy father time. That said, they’re still not even in a position to qualify for the play-in tournament, ranking 12th in the Western Conference.
So, with the NBA trade season informally opening up on December 15th when players who signed contracts this offseason are eligible to be traded, the Lakers figure to look to the market to see if there are upgrades available to push them over the top.
Remember, LeBron James does not have much time left. Though he’s still playing remarkably well for a nearly 38-year-old, he’s closer to the end of his career than the start. The Lakers need to take advantage and go all-in on pushing for a title.
Trade targets the Lakers are interested in revealed
The Lakers are looking to add some shooting according to Shams Charania. In a recent article for The Athletic, Charania primed the trade season (subscription required) he revealed Los Angeles wants shooting and listed a few names they’ve focused in on:
- Bojan Bogdanovic
- Cam Reddish
- Evan Fournier
Evidently, the Pistons are not that interested in moving Bogdanovic.
Earlier in the year, the Lakers seemed perpetually connected to Myles Turner and Buddy Hield of Indiana. Thanks in part to the great play of rookie Bennedict Mathurin, the Pacers are the seventh-seed in the East and could stand pat. They were already reportedly hoping to get two first-round picks from LAL which was steeper than Rob Pelinka and the Lakers wanted to go.
That hypothetical trade also involved Russell Westbrook, though, who has played well off the bench and helped unlock Davis’s strong play. Surprisingly, he may have played himself off the trade block.
Reddish is out of the rotation in New York, so right now that seems like a logical option.
The trade deadline is in mid-February but look for things to heat up long before then.