For almost a calendar year now, the Los Angeles Lakers have been fairly active on the trade market, and although they’ve made just one small deal for Patrick Beverley, they have aggressively canvassed the rest of the NBA.
The rumored trade targets have been many – Kyrie Irving, Bojan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield and Myles Turner, just to name a few.
But reportedly, L.A. had another target it was planning on going after if a certain scenario played out.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Lakers were hoping that, if the Oklahoma City Thunder played poorly and decided to tank, they could make a play for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
“My mind goes to, even if it’s unlikely at this point, the star player trade… months ago there was this kind of ‘pie in the sky’ sense from the Lakers of ‘Well, if Oklahoma City completely tanks, let’s go get Shai.’ Like, I heard Shai’s name coming out of that Lakers camp. But it’s just a dream.
“Don’t get too excited. It’s not happening. I wrote something about it a couple of weeks ago and, boy, did I hear about it from the Thunder.”
The thinking was that the Thunder would play very poorly this year, especially after top draft pick Chet Holmgren suffered an injury that will keep him out for the entire season.
Instead, Gilgeous-Alexander is one of the league’s top scorers at 31.3 points per game on 50.6 percent shooting, and at 11-13, they may have a real shot at the play-in tournament.