Los Angeles Lakers reportedly open to trading 4 players to find LeBron James more help

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly willing to part with four players in a trade this summer.

Los Angeles Lakers' D'Angelo Russell
Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers must find a way this offseason to field a championship-caliber team. That was in no way the case during the 2023-24 campaign, with Los Angeles losing to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Sure, the first order of business is finding a head coach to replace the recently-fired Darvin Ham. After that, it’s all about roster construction for general manager Rob Pelinka and Co.

All of that starts with LeBron James and his contract situation. He’s set to opt out and potentially hit NBA free agency. While a return to Southern California is more than likely for King James, the onus is going to be on Los Angeles’ brass to prove it can field a winning team.

One player that has been bandied about as potential trade fodder heading out is guard Austin Reaves. Of those behind James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers’ pecking order, he’s the most valuable. Reaves’ four-year, $53.83 million contrract also helps out from a financial perspective.

However, it seems less and less likely that the Lakers will move on from Reaves in order to find that third star.

“The Lakers have to trade someone, and when looking at the mid-size salaries, the guy they would love to keep is Reaves. Everyone else is moveable, to an extent,” Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported.

It’s really going to be all about who the Lakers can acquire. Someone of Donovan Mitchell’s ilk would certainly cost Reaves as one of the headliners. Lower-quality additions might not.

Related: Los Angeles Lakers reportedly had a chance to trade D’Angelo Russell for an All-Star guard

Los Angeles Lakers open to trading four players

Los Angeles Lakers' D'Angelo Russell
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Buha noted in his report that there are several players the Lakers are going to be willing to part with this summer.

“If you look at their cap sheet, and you look at who are the tradable guys, it’s Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell— if he opts in—and Gabe Vincent. The mid-size contracts, those are the ones you cobble together to acquire another star or cobble together to acquire a higher-impact role player.”

Report on the Los Angeles Lakers offseason plans

At this point, the Lakers likely prefer that Russell opts into his contract. He’s set to earn $18.69 million next season. Add in the contracts of Hachimura ($17 million), Vanderbilt ($10.7 million) and Vincent ($11 million), and the finances would work to acquire pretty much anyone on the trade block.

The broader issue here is value heading out in a potential trade. The Lakers can offer up two future first-round picks and pick swaps. Would that be enough to entice another team without moving Reaves? We’re not too sure.

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