Given the drama we’ve seen in Southern California over the past several months, the Los Angeles Lakers might have to get creative if they want to build a title contender around LeBron James.
Linked to some of the top free agents set to hit the market in July, it would not be a surprise to see Los Angeles turn to the trade market for potential upgrades.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, that could include chasing after All-Star guards Bradley Beal and DeMar DeRozan.
“I think the Lakers really have to look at the trade target,” Windhorst noted on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption. “How willing would they be to move that No. 4 pick? Would they be willing to make an offer for Bradley Beal? Would they be willing to make an offer for a guy like DeMar DeRozan, who possibly could be on the trade block depending on whether the Spurs want to extend his contract.”
DeRozan is the interesting name here. Los Angeles’ interest in Beal had already been noted, including potentially sending the fourth pick and other assets to the Washington Wizards for the All-Star.
Whether the San Antonio Spurs actually move DeRozan remains to be seen. But there are indications that he’s on the block. DeRozan has an opt out following the 2019-20 campaign, something he’s almost certain to use.
As LeBron James starts to recruit potential free agents, general manager Rob Pelinka has to decide what to do with the Lakers’ fourth pick in next month’s NBA Draft.
A blockbuster trade including said pick and a couple young players could ultimately be a harbinger of things to come in free agency.
DeRozan, 29, averaged 21.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.2 assists on 48% shooting in his first season with the Spurs after being acquired in the Kawhi Leonard trade.