5. PG Kemba Walker — Charlotte Hornets
This is easily the biggest trade target of the five mentioned, however, it is also the least likely as the Lakers have opened up cap space for a star next summer and would have no room to keep Kemba Walker past this season.
Plus, if the Lakers were to make a midseason deal for a point guard, the most obvious option seems to be Damian Lillard on the Portland Trail Blazers.
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However, there is a world in which a Kemba Walker trade makes sense for the Lakers. First, the Lakers would need the Hornets to suck, which is not too big of a request. While Charlotte will likely be a playoff team, the Lakers need the team to realize in February that the making it out of the first round is unattainable.
Second, the Lakers need the door to swing open to get out of the West. LA needs some cracks to be shown in the Golden State Warriors armor to go out and add a significant piece like this during the Trade Deadline.
Because to get Walker, the Lakers would likely have to send Josh Hart, a contract to match (likely KCP) and the team’s 2019 first-round pick. This would leave LA thin at shooting guard but the team could fill that with a starting Lonzo Ball-Walker backcourt with Rajon Rondo and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk coming off the bench.
The Lakers would also acquire Kemba Walker’s Bird Rights, which could leave to some creativity or even a pay cut from someone to form a big three. Is it likely? No, but it would potentially give LA another star.
Walker would help the team with his three-point shooting and with the ability to create his own shot, would take some pressure off LeBron James.