Former NBA Exec Identifies 3 Trade Targets Lakers ‘Surely’ Eyeing

Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Trade Rumors
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The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled to string wins together since executing the Russell Westbrook trade in the NBA offseason. They are back to .500 after a 108-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday but there’s more to consider.

When looking at the bigger picture, the Lakers have lost six out of their previous nine games despite LeBron James playing at an incredible level. The only wins during this span came against a terrible Houston Rockets team, the Portland Trail Blazers (worst defense in NBA), and an extremely short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves squad who did not have any of their main stars.

When evaluating some potential options for the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of the NBA trade deadline, John Hollinger who is a former NBA executive and current senior NBA columnist for The Athletic, pointed out Norman Powell, Derrick White, and Marcus Smart as intriguing options.

“Surely they are making calls about guards who can play off the ball, such as Portland’s Norman Powell, San Antonio’s Derrick White and Boston’s Marcus Smart, but they may need to set their sights a bit lower,” Hollinger wrote.

It would make sense to look to acquire a guard that can thrive off the ball while still having the ability to make plays within the flow of the offense. Marcus Smart can make plays but is not a great shooter. Instead, Derrick White or Norman Powell appear to be cleaner fitting options.

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The Portland Trail Blazers will need to be careful with how they are making moves at the NBA trade deadline if the long-term goal is to keep Damian Lillard long-term. Making moves as if they are ‘sellers’ probably wouldn’t give off the perception to Lillard that winning a championship is the goal.

For as long as the Trail Blazers are plagued by having the worst defense in the NBA, it appears they are going to be among the worst teams in the Western Conference. However, it’s too soon to expect them to get desperate being sellers.

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The San Antonio Spurs appear to be a more appropriate trade partner to engage. The team will always attempt to remain competitive but they simply lack the talent to do so. Moving on from Derrick White could clear more room for other options to play more minutes.

LeBron James needs to be initiating the offense early and often for the Los Angeles Lakers, regardless of the position he’s playing. By pursuing a player like Derrick White, the Lakers would have a shooter around him that can make plays, shoot the ball from deep, and get downhill while being an active defender.

About Grant Afseth 1082 Articles
Grant Afseth is a contributor to NBA Analysis Network who specializes in creating in-depth analysis. He also covers the Texas NBA teams for FanNation.