Lakers land Marcus Smart, four others in massive three-team B/R mock trade

There is just under a month to go before the NBA trade deadline, and there have been some rumors surrounding what the Los Angeles Lakers may do in order to make a serious run at another world championship.

The team is currently 19-19 and in ninth place in the Western Conference, which is not exactly what fans imagined when the season started. While injuries and a rough December travel schedule have been factors, it’s also clear L.A. could use a reinforcement or two.

The Lakers have been linked to Zach LaVine and Dejounte Murray, but landing either seems unlikely due to the asking price both are likely to command.

Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report proposed a big three-team trade involving the Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets that could give the Purple and Gold what’s needed to make a title run.

The trade

This deal would land former Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and four other viable role players in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, L.A. would give up four key complementary players.

Via Bleacher Report:

Grizzlies get:

Lakers get:

Nets get:

“Note: The Lakers’ 2029 first-rounder has top-10 protection through 2030, or else it converts to a 2030 second-rounder. The teams are free to haggle over this important minutia.”

Benefits for the Lakers, Grizzlies and Nets

While Russell has often been a good player for the Lakers since arriving in last February’s Russell Westbrook trade, he is streaky offensively. He’s coming off a prolonged slump in December, and he has a history of being inconsistent in the playoffs. In addition, he is regarded as a weak defender, and he got lit up by Jamal Murray in last season’s Western Conference Finals.

Smart would give L.A. an outstanding defender who is also at least somewhat capable offensively. He’s averaging a career-high 14.5 points a game this season, and he can also make plays for others and take some of the playmaking and ball-handling load off LeBron James.

The big negative is Smart’s poor 3-point shooting, which would make the team’s biggest weakness even worse.

However, this mock trade would bring the Lakers a red-hot 3-point specialist in Kennard and another excellent outside shooter in Finney-Smith, as well as another option, albeit an undersized one, at center in Tillman.

Smart is currently out with a finger injury that is expected to sideline him for at least six weeks. As Pincus pointed out, that injury may make the Lakers want to delay this potential trade until right before the deadline.

The Grizzlies are already without Ja Morant for the rest of this season, and with a 14-23 record, their best bet may be to tank. Making this mock trade would increase their chances of possibly winning the draft lottery this May.

Meanwhile, the Nets have a shot at reaching the play-in tournament with a young and hungry roster. They could use a ball-handling guard who can also score and hit from the outside, and Russell could be that man.

He had previously spent two seasons in Brooklyn, and during the 2018-19 campaign, he went on a hot streak that got him into the All-Star game while helping an underdog Nets team make the playoffs.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire