With the recent reports about the Lakers interested in reunited with Alex Caruso it got me thinking and slightly nostalgic.
So what trades would make sense for the Lakers to do either after December 15th or January 15th for the Lakers and bring back some familiar faces.
This will be starting out east with this idea.
Knicks trade Julius Randle, Josh Hart and Miles McBride.
Lakers trade D'lo, Rui and Taurean Prince.
Randle and Hart are playing well together and I think this duo could work well on this current Lakers team. It would be swapping out some of the current young core in D'lo and Rui for an more experienced young core in Randle and Hart.
Next team is the Bulls.
Lakers get Alex Caruso, Coby White and Terry Taylor
Bulls get Vincent, Prince and Jalen Hood-Schifino
This is a rebuild move for the Bulls and a win now move in Caruso to round out the defense. Coby is a spark off the bench and a future piece. Terry Taylor is a post LBJ move to have a young wing on the roster.
Wizards are the next team and of course we have Kyle Kuzma.
I have a few options for this.
Lakers get Kyle Kuzma, Daniel Gafford and Delon Wright
Wizards get LeBron James, Jaxson Hayes, Max Christie, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Maxwell Lewis.
The above trade is to shed salary and also move on from the LeBron era while getting Gafford to pair next to or behind AD. This also solves most of the current issues in the perimeter defense(Wright), shooting and size(Kuzma) and a better rim defender in Gafford over Hayes.
For the Wizards this is a semi rebuild move in that you are getting lots of young players and also with LeBron there with his player option the Wizards can either stay and the Wizards benefit from drafting Bronny and potenually Bryce James within the next two years or he walks and that opens up cap space for the Wizards to pair someone with Poole, Coulibaly and Deni Avidja.
In a non LeBron trade here is what I came up with.
Wizards get D'lo, Vincent and Taurean Prince
Lakers get Kyle Kuzma and Delon Wright.
The Lakers can start Wright and Reddish in the backcourt as a defensive tandem. Kyle Kuzma can play the 3 now since AD is more willing to play the 5 now and Bron is more of a 4 these days. Reaves continues to come off the bench as the backup PG. You have Max, Vando, Rui, Wood and Hayes to round out the bench. Lakers can make a small trade or the buyout market for a backup center as that is the only current area of concern after this trade.
For the Wizards this is mainly for a few reasons. Dlo can be some leadership and be a semi mentor for Jordan Poole as surprisingly D'lo went down similar paths in the NBA. Prince for positional variety. Vincent for a long term player next to Poole depending on how Vincent plays leading up to the trade deadline.
Heading out west here are the options.
Clippers get Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, Jalen Hood-Schifino and Jaxson Hayes
Lakers get Ivica Zubac, Bones Hyland, Kobe Brown and Brandon Boston Jr.
This returns Zubac back to the Lakers after that horrible Mike Muscala for Zubac trade in Magic's last year in the front office. It also brings in Bones Hyland in who was almost a Laker after some of the initial interest in him during the 2021 NBA draft, Kobe Brown is here for some young talent and Kobe should be on the Lakers. Boston Jr is a young wing on a team with too many wings on the Clippers.
Clippers get a young and rotation ready player in Vincent since Harden and Westbrook are not young and the Clippers are lacking in draft capital to draft young players. Fino for the post Big 4 era as well as Jaxson Hayes to backup Mason Plumlee and to play alongside Daniel Theis off the bench. Prince is there mainly for salary filler but also to add to the Clippers wing depth.
Next up is the Pelicans.
Pelicans get D'lo, Rui and Gabe Vincent
Lakers get Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr and Jose Alvarado.
This would be pretty much sending out as much as we can for Ingram and Nance Jr. You can do a two for one with D'lo and Rui for Ingram but I felt like the trade above would give the most options for both teams in terms of positional need and skill set.
The other option to have a full young core in terms of talent coming back for the Lakers is taking a chance on being better than the Pelicans and risking the Pelicans deciding on taking the Lakers pick this season over next years. That trade would be this.
Lakers get Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr, Jordan Hawkins, Matt Ryan
Pelicans get LeBron James and Taurean Prince, Alex Fudge
This would be taking a huge risk on the Pelicans being worse and LeBron not pairing well with Zion.
In return you would have the best young core in terms of depth and talent and also flexability with playstyles next to AD.
The Lakers would have this young core and AD to go as long as they want.
D'lo, Ingram, Larry Nance Jr, Jordan Hawkins, Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Max Christie, Cam Reddish, Jarred Vanderbilt, Gabe Vincent, Christian Wood, Jaxson Hayes and Matt Ryan. Not to mention Fino and Maxwell Lewis in the next era.
Jazz get Gabe Vincent, Christian Wood, Taurean Prince and one of D'lo or Rui
Lakers get Jordan Clarkson, Kelly Olynyk and Kris Dunn.
The Jazz are a team that have traded with the Lakers recently in trading for Jarred Vanderbilt among other players.
So in this trade the Lakers get a microwave scorer in Clarkson, toughness and spacing in Olynyk and Kris Dunn for point of attack defense. Clarkson recently signed an extension so in order to obtain him one of D'lo or Rui will have to be traded in this trade.
On the Jazz side you get a few young players back in Vincent, Wood and one of D'lo or Rui, the latter moreso than the former, You also continue to add to your young core and add experience.
So those are some trade ideas ideas I had for returning Grown Lakers to the current iteration of the team.
Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas on trade involving former Lakers post Kobe and pre LeBron era of the team!