NBA Rumors: 1 trade for every Lakers player on chopping block

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to wheel and deal at the NBA trade deadline.

D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers
D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to improve the roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis at the trade deadline. The question is, how much improvement can we expect?

Los Angeles is one of two teams to make an "actual offer" for Dejounte Murray, but talks with the Atlanta Hawks recently stalled. The Lakers are also connected to Bruce Brown, Malcolm Brogdon, and Tyus Jones (among others). It's clear the backcourt is an area of focus, but the Lakers have room for upgrades all across the roster.

LeBron has been putting unambiguous pressure on the front office over the last couple weeks. At 26-25, the Lakers are currently clinging to the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference play-in tournament. With James' free agency on the horizon — not to mention a potential retirement — it's now or never for the Lakers to capitalize on this short, barely ajar title window.

Let's go through the roster and cook up potential trades for each player involved in (real) trade rumors.

4. Lakers dump Gabe Vincent's contract to Pistons

vincent

Gabe Vincent played five games for the Lakers before suffering a knee injury. The early returns weren't great, but more worrisome than a small sample size is the simple fact that Vincent is under contract for three years and $33 million. That contract has the potential to age poorly. At the very least, Los Angeles should look to flip it for a more managable deal.

The Detroit Pistons are the perfect repository for unwanted long-term salary. Despite the Pistons' projected desire to "get better," it's clear Detroit is still several years away from contention. Monte Morris recently returned from an injury of his own — he, too, has five games under his belt this season — but he's on an expiring $9.8 million contract. So, for the small price of two second-round picks, the Lakers swap Vincent's three-year deal for Morris' one-year deal. A simple exchange.

It helps that Morris is the better player. There's no reason to look at his 2024 stats, as Morris still needs time to shake off the rust and get back into a rhythm. Last season with the Washington Wizards, Morris averaged 10.3 points and 5.7 assists on .480/.382/.831 splits as a full-time starter. He's an efficient 3-point shooter, comfortable firing off the catch and playing the role of connector. His mistake-free approach and high efficiency should pair nicely in a streamlined role next to LeBron James.

The Pistons can eat Vincent's salary in the meantime and help him get back on track after the injury. He's still a proven vet with postseason experience, so Detroit should benefit from his presence in the locker room. Vincent was the starting point guard during Miami's Finals run last season. His heady defense and no-nonsense attitude could rebound in value once he's up to speed.