Rumors swirled last week as the Lakers were rumored to be interested in trading their top 3 pick – assuming the lottery goes in their favor – for an established superstar. The idea is that the Lakers are not a franchise that sits back and lets young talent develop. That makes a lot of sense. Here are some of the deals the Lakeshow could possibly make work if they do in fact shop their 2016 first rounder.
The rumored target for the Lakers this offseason is none other than Paul George. His comeback from his gruesome leg injury has been nothing short of spectacular. His leadership in the playoffs was awe-inspiring. His play this season has defined him as a top ten player in this league.
But he needs to get out of Indiana.
The Pacers are building something amazingly mediocre. They are like the Dallas Mavericks of the East. They will always be pretty good, like 6-8 seed good, but they will never get back to the conference finals with their current group.
The supporting cast alongside George is not something to swoon over –
Monta Ellis – on the decline of an inefficient albeit successful career.
Myles Turner – young kid with a lot of star potential, but he won’t realize it for years. George can’t wait.
Rodney Stuckey – Glorified role player.
George Hill – Productive point guard, but can’t shoot or create shot.
That really sums up the Indiana Pacers for you, and they aren’t the threat they used to be. George should recognize this, but most importantly Larry Bird needs to recognize this.
The team needs a refresh button. Finding a trade partner for Monta Ellis would be hard, but keeping him wouldn’t be that bad. But building around Myles Turner, Julius Randle and whoever the Pacers could take with the Lakers top 3 pick would be a much better direction for the Pacers.
Potential trade –
To Pacers – Julius Randle, 2016 top 3 pick
To Lakers – Paul George
Surprisingly, the Bulls publicly stated that they wouldn’t rule out trading their franchise player, Jimmy Butler, this offseason.
For a team in desperate need of a rebuild but with legitimate pieces in place, shipping off their recently maxed-out scorer is a peculiar move. But they noted it was possible, so so will I.
The Lakers would love to bring in Butler to ring in their future of not-being-terrible. And it shouldn’t take more than the top 3 pick to get him – anything more than that would be a loss for the Lakers.
On the same note, if the Lakers pick ends up in the top 2, AKA Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons, I don’t think Jimmy Butler alone would be enough to get that pick. Maybe Bobby Portis or Nikola Mirotic would need to be thrown in.
Potential Trade –
To Lakers – Jimmy Butler, Bobby Portis
To Bulls – Top 3 pick, Larry Nance Jr.
Similar to the Bulls, the Kings openly stated that DeMarcus Cousins now could be had through trade.
This is a very new state of mind for the Kings organization, one that likely comes from George Karl’s demise. But this would be smart for the Kings.
Cousins is a top 5 center in the league, especially with his fancy new three point shot. But he isn’t the easiest to build around, especially when no-one around him is very talented or conducive to his play style.
Trade him to the Lakers, and start over with re-upping Rajon Rondo, keep Rudy Gay around to mentor, use Darren Collison and Willie Cauley-Stein more, and build around Brandon Ingram, Ben Simmons, or Dragan Bender / Buddy Hield.
Cousins will warrant a kings ransom in this deal, even if the pick is no. 1 or no. 2.
Potential Trade –
To Lakers – DeMarcus Cousins
To Kings – Top 3 pick, Louis Williams, Julius Randle