Going into a pivotal offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers have the financial means to improve their roster via free agency with roughly $32.5 million in cap space. However, if they can’t land an All-Star talent in free agency, they’ll shift their attention to the trade market and they reportedly already have a handful of targets in mind for that scenario.
Of course, Anthony Davis is priority No. 1 for the Lakers, but the New Orleans Pelicans reportedly have zero interest in trading Davis to Los Angeles. If the Lakers can’t successfully re-engage in trade talks for Davis, they will check in with the Washington Wizards about Bradley Beal, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News:
The Lakers have other players they’re targeting in trades, according to league sources. Chief among them is Wizards guard Bradley Beal, though with the Wizards not yet hiring a front office honcho, no decision has been made whether to trade Beal. But LA will be in position to make an attractive offer if Beal is put on the block.
The Lakers are also rumored to have interest in Derrick Favors of the Utah Jazz and Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors, per the report. Lowry reportedly had interest in signing with Los Angeles in 2017, but instead decided to re-up with Toronto on a three-year, $100 million deal.
At 31 years old, Lowry can probably be had for relatively cheap if the Lakers wanted him, but it’s unlikely that Los Angeles would want to add his hefty contract to their books. Lowry will make $33.5 million next season and become an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
Favors likely wouldn’t come at a steep price either, assuming the Jazz pick up his team option this summer, but it’s worth questioning whether or not a player of his caliber is worth sacrificing assets for. Favors 11.8 points on 58.6 percent shooting from the field while grabbing 7.4 rebounds per game and swatting away 1.4 blocks per game. While those certainly aren’t bad numbers, there are a handful of players in the league that can offer the same production with a cheaper price tag like JaVale McGee.
The same can’t be said of Beal, a two-time All-Star coming off of a career year with the Washington Wizards. Beal would be the perfect complement to James offensively, but it’s unclear if Washington is willing to part with the 25-year-old shooting guard. If there’s even a little bit of reluctance to trade Beal from the Wizards, the asking price could for his services could rival the package the Lakers put together for Davis, especially because Beal is on a reasonable contract for another two years.
It’s possible that none of these players end up on the Lakers next season, and some would even argue it’s probable, but this report shows that the front office has no intention of remaining complacent this summer. Except similar reports to come out over the next few weeks, especially with the 2019 NBA Draft just over a month away.