5 Players Lakers Should Target on the Trade Market This Offseason

The Los Angeles Lakers should be trying to land one of these stars available on the trade market.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Darius Garland

The dynamic between Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland is similar to the one between Trae Young and Dejounte Murray in Atlanta.

Mitchell and Garland similarly disappointed in Cleveland and just like the Trae-Murray pairing, one of the two All-Star guards has to go this offseason. The two seasons Mitchell and Garland played together for the Cavs proved that the backcourt duo isn't feasible for the postseason. They just have too many defensive and physical shortcomings.

Considering that Mitchell is a better player, the Cavs could perhaps decide to move on from Darius Garland instead. They could prefer to reload around Mitchell if he were to sign a long-term contract extension there.

After Mitchell arrived in Cleveland, Garland wasn't able to take his game to the next level. He was an All-Star in the 2021-22 season but didn't sniff that level in the past two years, posting an underwhelming 18 points and 6.5 assists per game last season.

However, he is only 24 years old and has the skill set that fits perfectly around LeBron and Davis. The former Vanderbilt standout can pass, shoot, and run the pick-and-roll. He has the ability to get inside the paint and finish in traffic. He can carry a significant offensive load and organize the offense, something the Lakers desperately missed last season. This would help LeBron James save his energy for the playoffs.

Garland is due $36 million for next season. The Lakers would have to trade at least Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura along with draft capital. If the players mentioned above are not in the cards, Garland is the next best thing.