The Los Angeles Lakers have reshaped their roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis for next season, constructing a younger roster in contrast to the one they’d in 2021-22.
They drafted Max Christie within the second round and signed Scottie Pippen Jr. and Cole Swider to two-way contracts. In free agency, the Lakers have also brought in Lonnie Walker IV, Troy Brown Jr., Damian Jones, and Juan Toscano-Anderson. The younger roster should create more hustle plays and more energizing bodies for the 2022-23 campaign.
LA was unable to make it to the playoffs in 2021, which was an enormous disappointment. With that said, listed below are two moves the Lakers still must make after the primary weekend of the 2022 NBA free agency in the event that they need to compete for the title.
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Lakers: Two Moves LA Must Make
2. Sign Thomas Bryant
While Thomas Bryant just isn’t a star, he could possibly be a solid role player for the Lakeshow. The previous Laker is a young center that could possibly be impactful for LA.
Bryant missed many of the 2021-22 season with the Washington Wizards and was not great within the games he appeared in. Nevertheless, the 12 months prior, when healthy, Bryant showed that he could possibly be a superb center. This makes the Lakers a super situation for him to sign, regardless that it’ll be for a minimum contract.
Malik Monk didn’t receive much interest last offseason, leading him to sign with LA on a minimum. Monk then had a profession 12 months, which increased his value and led him to sign a two-year, $19 million deal this offseason with the Sacramento Kings.
Bryant can come to the Lakers for the 12 months and up his value heading into the subsequent offseason.
1. Trade for Kyrie Irving
That is essentially the most obvious and best move for the Lakers to make. Russell Westbrook’s fit with Los Angeles was not great, and moving him could help the team improve.
The Kyrie-to-LA rumors have been circling this offseason but were shut down when the Brooklyn Nets opted into his player option. Nevertheless, just a few days later, Kevin Durant requested a trade, opening the door back up for an Irving trade. While the Lakers don’t have a ton of assets, they’ve some type of leverage within the negotiation with the Nets because the only suitor.
Irving also reportedly desires to go to the Lakers as soon as he can. This puts Brooklyn in a predicament as Irving can leave for nothing at the top of the upcoming season. The opposite and more likely option is trading him to the Purple and Goldand getting some value back.
The trade proposal is reported to incorporate Russell Westbrook and draft picks for Irving and Joe Harris or Seth Curry. Westbrook is entering the ultimate 12 months of his deal price $47 million. With a purpose to make the salaries match, the Nets may have to incorporate one other player besides Irving.
LA prefers Curry, who has one 12 months remaining on his deal for $8 million. Either Harris or Curry can be a superb rotational piece and shooter for the Lakers so as to add. The present roster lacks elite shooting, and these guys could help them improve in that facet of the sport.
The essential piece of this trade is Irving, who can be reunited with LeBron and join Davis in a Big 3. This could put Los Angeles back in championship contention after winning the title in 2020.
An Irving move to the Lakers is taken into account likely by many. If Los Angeles can pull off this deal, they will likely be able to compete with any team.