One of the biggest questions across the NBA at the midway point of the season is whether the Los Angeles Lakers will make a significant move to make a legitimate playoff run or simply punt the rest of the year and look to make a big splash this summer.
The Lakers have been actively looking at many trade scenarios, but nothing has emerged that they feel will move the needle enough.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated feels the team may be trying to get LeBron James on board with riding out this season with its current roster and attempting to make a home run trade for Bradley Beal or Damian Lillard this summer.
“Internally, I’m sure the Lakers are selling James on an offseason when Bradley Beal or Damian Lillard becomes available, and L.A. swoops in with its picks to acquire them,” Mannix said. “But that’s more fantasy than reality.”
Perhaps Lillard could be the answer to the Lakers’ struggles to return to being an elite team. He is averaging 28.2 points and 7.0 assists per game this season, and he remains one of the NBA’s deadliest players in crunch time.
However, he has said he would rather remain with the Portland Trail Blazers and lead them to a championship than do so elsewhere.
Beal, who is putting up 22.9 points and 5.2 assists per game while shooting 52.5 percent, would also be an interesting addition.
However, there is a strong argument to be made that the Lakers don’t need help in the backcourt, but rather in the frontcourt, particularly at the forward position.