If the Los Angeles Lakers want to improve their current roster, and actually have a chance of competing for an NBA championship this season, making a trade is their only option.
According to Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz, one potential deal that makes sense for Los Angeles is trading for three Orlando Magic veterans, all of whom can help improve the Lakers’ front-court production.
The proposed trade looks like this:
Lakers Get: Gary Harris, Terrence Ross, and Jonathan Isaac
Magic Get: Russell Westbrook, and a 2027 first-round draft pick.
“Harris and Ross bring some much-needed shooting and wing play to a Lakers team that craves both. Isaac is nearing a return to the court following a two-plus-year absence due to knee injuries and was an elite defender the last time we saw him in an NBA game.
This trade also lets the Lakers keep their 2029 first-round pick, with 2023-24 contracts for Harris and Isaac either partially or completely non-guaranteed should L.A. prioritize cap space instead,” Swartz wrote.
If Isaac recovers from his current injury struggles and remains healthy, he could be a significant building block alongside Anthony Davis for the Lakers’ long-term future. But in the short term, both Harris and Ross would provide some much-needed floor spacing and secondary playmaking to a Lakers roster that is far too prone to moments of offensive stagnation.
LeBron James Set to Return From Injury
In terms of short-term impact, having LeBron James back in the rotation should be a significant help for the Lakers. According to NBA Insider Chris Haynes, LeBron intends to make his return to Los Angeles’ rotation on November 25, when they’re set to face the San Antonio Spurs.
“League sources inform me, that LeBron will make his return, Friday, in San Antonio,” Haynes said.
LeBron has participated in 10 games for the Lakers this season, providing them with 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 45.7% from the field. It will be interesting to see how much LeBron’s presence helps improve the Lakers’ fortunes, especially now that Anthony Davis is playing at such an elite level.
Darvin Ham Wants Davis to Remain Aggressive
On November 18, Davis provided the Lakers with a gargantuan performance against the Detroit Pistons, dropping 38 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, four blocks, and a steal, on 62.5% shooting from the field. Speaking to the media following the game, Lakers’ head coach, Darvin Ham, noted how he wants Davis to continue being aggressive on offense when LeBron returns to the rotation.
“He’s been a big force for us all year, and tonight was no different…I think it’s extremely important (Davis remaining aggressive), I mean, just trying to sustain Bron when he comes back, being efficient with his minutes and efficient with his wear and tear. AD has to be the leading force, the leading charge, in terms of how we want to play inside-outside basketball, pressure on the rim, pressure in the paint constantly,” Ham said.
If LeBron is willing to take a step back in role and allow Davis to lead the Lakers’ offense for the remainder of the season, it’s possible that we could see a resurgence from the purple and gold, but it all rests on LeBron’s willingness to take a step back and embrace a supporting role. We will have to wait and see how that plays out.