- Brook Lopez
- Larry Nance Jr.
We are now getting into serious trade candidates. The Los Angeles Lakers have quite a few serious trade candidates, making it no surprise that these guys are only the third most likely to get dealt. While you may not have heard any of these guys’ names in any serious trade talks yet, I would not be surprised to see one of the two on another team at the end of 2018.
First, let’s look at the case of Larry Nance Jr. Nance, the dunking phenomenon that he is, has developed into quite the talented backup power forward behind Julius Randle. Last season, Nance averaged 7.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game in only 22.9 minutes on the court.
However, that same ability is what makes is much easier to trade Nance. With Kuzma rising up to be a formidable force on the Lakers, the team may have to paint some sort of avenue. There is no better way to create more minutes for Kuzma than trading Nance away for a draft pick next season. Even if it is a high pick, that is something the Lakers do not currently have.
As for Lopez, it would not be surprising for the team to turn a short-term investment into a long-term one. With Lopez hitting the free agent market this year, the Lakers could look to turn his one season star power into multiple season star power.
For a team that is not in contention, it would make sense to acquire Lopez and trade away a star. Not only would that team be entering tank mode, they would be freeing cap space after this year. Although, while it is likely, the stars would have to align perfectly for a Lopez deal to occur.