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5 potential Los Angeles Lakers trade scenarios ahead of NBA trade deadline

Vincent Frank
Los Angeles Lakers trade scenarios: Larry Nance Jr.
Jan 15, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (middle) grabs a rebound against Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond (3) and forward Larry Nance Jr. (22) during the first quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

There’s going to be some major Los Angeles Lakers trade talk over the next few weeks leading up to the 2021 NBA trade deadline. That’s especially true with Anthony Davis currently sidelined to an Achilles’ injury and some concerns over frontcourt depth.

While Los Angeles doesn’t boast a ton of assets to entice other teams, there’s a number of trades the team could pull off. Here’s a look at five Los Angeles Lakers trade scenarios.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Lakers, check out #TheLakeShow rumors, rankings, and news here

Los Angeles Lakers trade for Larry Nance Jr.

Los Angeles Lakers trade for Larry Nance Jr.
Jan 31, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. (22) controls the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) in the third quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
  • Lakers get: Larry Nance Jr.
  • Cavaliers get: Talen Horton-Tucker, cap fillers, two future second-round picks

Imagine the Lakers being able to pull off a trade that reunites them with Nance Jr. He played with the team from 2015 to about midway through the 2017-18 season when the power forward was involved in the now infamous Isaiah Thomas deal. Since then, Nance Jr. has turned in a darn good career.

This far this season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 28-year-old forward is averaging 9.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and a resounding 1.9 steals on 48% shooting from the field. He’d be a marked upgrade over Montrezl Harrell when the Lakers want superior defense in the crunch time.

As for Cleveland, acquiring a rising youngster in Talen Horton-Tucker would have to be seen as a major coup. He’s seen as a starter-caliber wing moving forward. In fact, Horton-Tucker could star with Collin Sexton and Darius Garland in a three-guard lineup. It almost makes too much sense.

Read More: NBA trade rumors: Latest updates leading up to the March 25 deadline

Los Angeles Lakers trade for Hassan Whiteside

Los Angeles Lakers trade for Hassan Whiteside
Jan 9, 2021; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings center Hassan Whiteside (20) warms up before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
  • Lakers get: Hassan Whiteside, Nemanja Bjelica
  • Kings get: Talen Horton-Tucker, cap fillers, two future second-round picks

Obviously, Horton-Tucker would be the centerpiece for Sacramento in this hypothetical trade with the division-rival Lakers. It could also portend the end of Buddy Hield’s tenure in California’s capital city. But that’s a story for another time. Multiple cap fillers such as Wesley Matthews as well as two future second-round picks would also head back to the Kings.

As for the Lakers, they get a legit true center to team up with Anthony Davis inside when the All-Star returns from his Achilles’ injury. Whiteside has been in and out of the Kings’ rotation this season. However, he did averaged 15.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and a league-best 2.9 blocks for the Blazers last season.

Adding to the Lakers’ haul here, they nab a player in Bjelica who is currently on the block. The Serbian is shooting 39% from three-point range in his career and could be a stretch-four in Los Angeles.

Read More: NBA trade deadline: 5 teams that should be sellers

Los Angeles Lakers trade for Thaddeus Young

Los Angeles Lakers trade for Thaddeus Young
Jan 15, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young (21) is upset after an officials call against him on a play against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
  • Lakers get: Thaddeus Young
  • Bulls get: Talen Horton-Tucker, cap fillers, future second-round pick

One of the most-underrated players in the game, there’s now talk that Young could be dealt. Expect the 32-year-old forward to draw a significant amount of interest from contending teams. Young is averaging 11.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists on 60% shooting from the field for the Bulls this season.

Young is expendable due to the presence of rookie Patrick Williams in Chicago. He also wouldn’t come cheaply for the Lakers. That includes Los Angeles sending the above-mentioned Horton-Tucker to the Windy City.

However, it would certainly be worth it. Young can play all three frontcourt positions. He’s a better defender than Harrell and has proven himself to be a more efficient shooter than Kyle Kuzma. Imagine that wealth of experience and ability coming off the Lakers’ bench as they look to repeat.

Related: NBA Power Rankings – Warriors and Bucks lead the charge following 2022 NBA Draft

Los Angeles Lakers trade for Mo Bamba

Lakers rumors: Mo Bamba trade
NBA: Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks
  • Lakers get: Mo Bamba
  • Magic get: Alex Caruso, future second-round pick

We’ve heard Lakers rumors suggesting that they could be in on acquiring Bamba from the Orlando Magic. It makes sense in that he would give this otherwise veteran-laden roster more youth deep in the rotation.

Los Angeles also wouldn’t have to part with Horton-Tucker in this hypothetical trade. Instead, it gives up a fan favorite in Alex Caruso who is pretty much tapped out in terms of potential but could be a solid get for Orlando. The Magic also receive two second-round picks to add to their draft capital as the team seemingly heads into a long-term rebuild.

Read More: Orlando Magic could deal Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon ahead of NBA trade deadline

Los Angeles Lakers trade for Jonas Valanciunas

Los Angeles Lakers trade for Jonas Valanciunas
Jan 16, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas (17) fights for the rebound against Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
  • Lakers get: Jonas Valanciunas
  • Grizzlies get: Montrezl Harrell, Talen Horton-Tucker, future second-round pick

Speaking of true centers, Valanciunas would be a major get for the Lakers. There’s no telling whether he’s on the trade block with Memphis. However, general manager Rob Pelinka should be calling up the Grizzlies in hopes of landing this 28-year-old big man.

Valanciunas is averaging 15.4 points and 10.3 rebounds on 57% shooting from the field since the start of 2018-19 season. Sure his range is limited. His impact might also be limited as the NBA transitions away from traditional centers. Even then, he could provide a lot in spurts.

In return, Memphis picks up a capable scorer in that of reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell. He could also be flipped for more assets. However, the acquisition of Horton-Tucker is the centerpiece here. He could form a tremendous backcourt duo moving forward with Ja Morant.