The Los Angeles Lakers need to make these two moves to ensure they can win the offseason.
Only a year removed from winning it all in the NBA bubble, LeBron James and the rest of the Lakers quickly realized they were not in Orlando anymore. An incredibly short offseason contributed in a major way towards this past year’s team greatly disappointing. They were only the No. 7 seed and lost to the division rival Phoenix Suns in six games in their first-round series.
If the Lakers want to be 2022 NBA Champions, they need to make this one blockbuster trade and sign this one marquee superstar in his free agency. Then, they can enter next year with serious championship aspirations.
The Lakers need to trade for Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal
For the Lakers to be able to make another deep run in the Western Conference Playoffs, they are going to need a more reliable playmaker in the backcourt. We know that James and Anthony Davis are the team’s two best players, but Los Angeles cannot be at a competitive disadvantage in the backcourt any longer. This is why the Lakers need to trade for guard Bradley Beal this offseason.
Beal has spent his entire NBA career out of Florida with the Washington Wizards. While he has been on a handful of playoff teams before with John Wall and now Russell Westbrook as his backcourt mate, neither of them has helped Beal get to the Eastern Conference Finals yet. With him about to enter his age-28 season, it might be time for him to uproot and come to Los Angeles.
Beal is still under contract with the Wizards through the 2021-22 NBA season with a player option for 2022-23 at roughly $37.3 million. He is very much in his basketball prime, and the Lakers don’t have a lot of trade assets available. Because of the Anthony Davis deal, the one and only future first-round pick they have available to trade is in 2026. Beyond that, they’d have to piece together a deal that probably includes Talen Horton-Tucker, Kyle Kuzma and maybe even a sign-and-trade with Dennis Schroder. The only other option would be to try and turn some of those assets into pieces that are more appealing to the Wizards.
It’s an absurd long shot, but it’s the only real slam dunk to put the Lakers back in front of the Western Conference arms race.