The Los Angeles Lakers are desperately trying to improve ahead of their 2022-23 NBA campaign. After failing to make the playoffs last year, the front office has worked actively to change something – anything – heading into next season.
At the moment, the likeliest inevitable trade appears to be one with a Utah Jazz squad that is clearly trying to clean house. It will probably cost at least one draft pick, but that’s the cost of doing business nowadays.
It’s easy to see the rationale for it, too. L.A. is hoping to go all in on its core of LeBron James and Anthony Davis while the former is still a top-tier player in the league.
Future be damned – it’s all about winning now.
This week, however, a proposed trade went viral online that takes the opposite approach.
In this prospective deal between the Lakers and Golden State Warriors, the object for L.A. would be maximizing Davis’ current trade value.
As noted by Alex Kirschenbaum of Sports Illustrated, this swap would involve Davis and Kendrick Nunn going to Golden State in return for Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman and two first rounders.
Understandably, this caused quite a stir.
Pairing Davis with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green seems like something out of a video game. Assuming he stays healthy, Davis could thrive with a group like that and immediately turn the defending champs into frontrunners to repeat.
Should Davis get hurt, Golden State already proved they can win without a big man with Wiseman out all season.
Wiggins is on his way out anyway since he wants more money than the Warriors want to give him, so that wouldn’t be a huge loss either.
For the Lakers, this deal is a bit harder to justify. Yes, Wiggins would provide three-and-D wing support and Wiseman has potential to big a bigtime talent later – but that’s pretty much where it ends.
Davis has been linked to far more realistic trades with much better returns.
After all, is a core of James and Wiseman really enough to compete for a championship? At that point, you may as well trade James too and just start rebuilding.
It feels like a far likelier scenario here is the Lakers keeping both James and Davis and then actively looking to dump Russell Westbrook.
Earlier this week a dark horse suitor emerged for his services that could solve a lot of the Lakers’ problems. And unlike this proposed Warriors swap, it would leave L.A. as a title contender.
These girls just straight up went to the game with no shirts on. https://t.co/hsr1iZ2OTd
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 14, 2022
One way or another, it feels like the Lakers still have moves left to make before the beginning of next season.
What will the final roster look like when it’s all said and done?
Time will tell.
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