The Lakers have certainly picked up the pace when it comes to trade discussions in recent weeks, as detailed most notably from the report on Friday about the negotiations for Dejounte Murray with the Hawks.
Interestingly, the uptick has coincided with the Lakers seemingly turning a corner on the season with strong performances leading to positive results on the court. It could be a mirage, as has happened this season already.
Regardless of what their recent stretch might mean, there are still some trades that could or should be made. And we fielded your suggestions earlier this week of trades you guys thought the Lakers should do.
Here’s a look at five non-Dejounte Murray trades.
There might not be a player I want more back in a Lakers uniform than Alex Caruso — with Lonzo Ball a close second — not just because of how enjoyable he was to watch but also because of how perfect a fit he remains alongside LeBron James.
That being said, he has appeal across the league, including from the Bulls. They don’t need to trade him right now, which means a package for him is going to cost quite a bit. Like that second round pick mentioned is probably going to have to be a first round pick.
At that point, it probably feels like a bit too much for someone that I don’t think pushes you over the top. But man do I want to see Caruso and Reaves in a backcourt together.
I actually think this is an interesting trade that might have legs to it. The Lakers have had interest previously in Jalen Suggs and that was before he had a resurgence this season. And Wendell Carter, in theory, is a big man who would be a great complement to Anthony Davis.
The question would be why would Orlandoo do this? Both Suggs and Carter are under contract for multiple seasons and D’Angelo Russell is not, considering he would likely decline his player option.
Also, Carter is a good fit on paper but has only played more than 60 games once in his career. This season, he’s only played 15 games.
I would not be surprised if Suggs name comes up over the next month, but not for this package.
Here’s an interesting comparison for you. Here’s the blind resume of two players this season.
Two nearly identical players. The player on the left plays about two minutes more per game, which accounts for the narrow edge in most of the per-game stats. The one on the right is slightly more efficient overall and a bit more of a positive player according to advanced numbers, but this is more or less the same type of player.
The one on the left is Taurean Prince. The one on the right is Dorian Finney-Smith.
I understand the desire to acquire Finney-Smith, but the desire to get rid of Prince — and there were lots of trades doing so that I parsed through — is one I truly do not understand. I think DFS would be a great player to add, but it should be to play with Prince, not in lieu of him.
As for the trade, this is a lot to give up for a marginal step forward between DFS and Prince, a legitimately nice big man and a guard the Lakers had and didn’t use last year. You’re also going to have to pay Claxton a lot of money this summer.
I’ll start off by saying I do not think this is a good trade. Killian Hayes is not the type of player that would find success around LeBron and James Wiseman has proven on multiple teams now he is not worth the gamble. And I already made my point about Prince.
But I do think there could be value in making a move for someone from the Pistons. That franchise is a trainwreck right now and the vibes are atrocious. While I think we’re past the days of going after Bojan Bogdanovic, there could be some buy-low candidates on the roster.
Alec Burks, for example, is shooting 39% from 3-point range off the bench. Could the Lakers target someone of value on that roster?
Of the potential targets I think the Lakers could acquire at the deadline, Tyus Jones ranks very highly on that list. Part of this depends on how much the Lakers think they can get from Gabe Vincent this year and part of it depends on if they think they can keep Tyus in Los Angeles long-term.
But he’s exactly the table-setting point guard that the team could use. He doesn’t offer perhaps the downhill threat that the Lakers could use, but he is a great shooter, takes care of the ball and has long established himself as a legitimate NBA guard.
I would be hesitant to include Vincent and Jalen Hood-Schifino unless you’re certain you can sign Jones past this season as he’s on an expiring deal, but if you can, then this is an easy yes for me.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.