The Los Angeles Lakers completed most of their objectives in the offseason. As the window on LeBron James’ career nears its end, Rob Pelinka is aware that the front office must capitalize on every opportunity that increases their chances of repeating for a championship this year.
While other teams made sure to get better in order to contend with the Lakers, LA also made sure to increase the margin between them and most teams. One of their paramount moves was securing both Anthony Davis and James to extensions that’ll see them both remain around for some additional years.
Still, the curtain falling on the pursuit of Giannis Antetokounmpo has to be what the front office would consider a flop, especially seeing as how Davis was reportedly holding out his extension in hopes of awaiting Antetokounmpo’s decision.
Be that as it may, the Lakers were still able uphold their same championship stature. They were able to secure a legitimate, all-around point guard in Dennis Schroder, which should be highly beneficial for them in the upcoming season. For all aspects of their upgrades, Schroder brings the most promise immediately. The acquisition of Montrezl Harrell was also a blow to their inner-city rivals the Los Angeles Clippers.
However, the Lakers would surely like to have a legitimate third superstar in the rankings if they could, and that possibility still exists outside of Antetokounmpo.
Trade Targets: Bradley Beal, Buddy Hield
While the idea of Bradley Beal being traded may seem far fetched, the Washington Wizards aren’t going to pass by on intriguing deals should they come about. The trading of John Wall should make that apparent, though the Wizards had more of a case to part ways with the five-time All-Star.
The Wizards aren’t predicted to be a heavy player in the Eastern Conference this season despite obtaining Russell Westbrook. The thought of Westbrook and Beal in the backcourt also doesn’t dream up high playoff expectations either. If the same routes of previous seasons occur, Beal could be in a position to make his desires known to be traded.
The Lakers were rumored to be targeting Beal for a while now. If they are able to put the right pieces together to obtain his services, Beal’s skill set gives the Lakers a bona fide Big 3 with Davis and James.
On the other hand, while Buddy Hield isn’t on the same plateau as Beal, he still brings about a respectable level of firepower for the Lakers backcourt. Unlike Beal, Hield could become available sooner than later given his current state with the Sacramento Kings. Hield found himself drawing the short end of sticks last season as head coach Luke Walton shifted between the 28-year-old and Bogdan Bogdanovic.
While Bogdanovic is gone, the relationship between Hield and Walton hasn’t necessarily simmered down. If the Kings don’t start off on the right foot at the beginning of the season, they could resume the possibility of looking for another reasonable destination to move Hield to.
The thought of Davis, James and Hield gives the Lakers another option on offense if Davis and James are on the bench or drawing attention away from themselves.
LA won’t just turn away now that Antetokounmpo has locked himself in for the foreseeable future. Pelinka and company still want a third star, and they could find it in either Hield or Beal.