Lakers Trade For Nets’ Dennis Smith Jr. In New Proposal

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Plans get detailed. It happens. You can plan a picnic, but you can’t predict the weather – and neither can NBA players. A player’s career can change trajectory, and it can happen quickly. 

Take Dennis Smith Jr. of the Brooklyn Nets. By now, he was supposed to be signed to a massive contract. Smith Jr. was a lottery pick  – he was supposed to be a star. That hasn’t been the case. In fact, for some time, it looked like Smith Jr. may not find his way in the league. 

Luckily, he has. Smith Jr. isn’t an offensive stud, but he’s developed into an outstanding defender. That wasn’t the plan for his career, but give Smith Jr. credit for changing gears and reinventing himself. Could the Nets trade him to the Los Angeles Lakers anyway? 

NBA Trade Proposal — Los Angeles Lakers Land Dennis Smith Jr.

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Brooklyn Nets Receive: G/F Cam Reddish, 2024 Second-Round Pick (LAC via LAL), 2025 Second-Round Pick (LAC via LAL), 2027 Second-Round Pick (LAL) 

Los Angeles Lakers Receive: G Dennis Smith Jr. 

We can’t give Smith Jr. enough credit for reinventing himself. Every NBA player isn’t able to do that. Sometimes, a player’s career falls flat. Even lottery picks with star potential can end up looking like duds. 

So far, that’s been the case for Reddish. We take no joy in saying that. Reddish was supposed to be an archetypical 3-and-D wing who could create his shot. So far, his jumper has been inconsistent, and his defense has been worse.

If Reddish can create his shot at the NBA level, no coach has even trusted him enough to give him ample opportunities. Reddish still has time. He’s still young – he can still round into form.

NBA TRADES & RUMORS: Dennis Smith Jr, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

With that said, the clock is ticking. If Reddish doesn’t have a breakout season soon, he could be in trouble. Should the Lakers cut ties with him during his first season with the team? 

Why The Los Angeles Lakers Do The Deal 

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It depends on how Reddish is performing. With D’Angelo Russell and Gabe Vincent on the roster, the Lakers have a more pressing need for a wing than they do for a guard.

If Reddish plays well for them, they won’t be interested in making this move. Let’s say that Reddish is once again struggling. The Lakers may have a crowded guard rotation, but at the same time, they don’t have a guard like Smith Jr.

He’s developed into an elite point-of-attack defender who can also pressure the rim from an offensive standpoint. Meanwhile, the Lakers shouldn’t worry about parting with some second-round picks.

NBA TRADES & RUMORS: Dennis Smith Jr, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

They must operate within a win-now window with LeBron James on the roster. If this deal upgrades their roster, they should make it. Should the Nets? 

Why The Brooklyn Nets Do The Deal 

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By contrast, the Nets aren’t title contenders. Yet, they aren’t necessarily bottom dwellers, either. This team is in an exciting position. We’re unsure exactly how competitive they’ll be in 2023-24. 

In some respects, it’s a moot point. The Nets don’t own their next first-round pick in any event – it belongs to the Houston Rockets. Whether it lands first or 30th, it conveys to Houston. With that in mind, some will say that the Nets shouldn’t do anything to downgrade their roster. 

Sure. At the same time, the Nets do own a considerable amount of draft capital. In time, they’ll likely flip a large portion of it for a star player. This deal is about greasing the wheels on a trade.

NBA TRADES & RUMORS: Dennis Smith Jr, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

Three second-round picks could make it a little easier for the Nets to broker a deal down the road – unless their plans change. 

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