Lakers Need to Prioritize These 2 Trade Targets

Darius Garland and Cameron Johnson are two targets the Lakers should be looking to trade for.
Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game Five
Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game Five / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

We are now six days into free agency and the Los Angeles Lakers have struck out on Klay Thompson, Paul George, and pretty much every top free agent. Being the Lakers, they will be “connected” to all free agents at one time or another just because they are the Lakers.

With minimal key free agents left other than DeMar DeRozan, they will have to be active on the trade market to improve the roster. There are two trades that many haven’t talked about that I believe could make a huge impact and turn the Lakers into a contender.

Lakers receive: PG Darius Garland
Cavaliers receive:
D’Angelo Russell, Gabe Vincent, Christian Wood, Cam Reddish, 2029 1st round pick, a first-round pick swap

This would solve the point guard issue easily that the Lakers seem to have every year. Darius Garland is possibly available due to the fact that the Cleveland Cavaliers just signed Donovan Mitchell to a three-year max deal. They play the same position and it showed on the defensive end, especially in their series against the Boston Celtics.

Having two undersized guards on the perimeter won’t work in today’s game. We can’t ask LeBron James to be point guard again at 40 years old. This would be part one of a massive two-deal setup.

Lakers receive: SF Cameron Johnson, SG Cam Thomas
Nets receive:
Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, a 2031 first-round pick, a first-round pick swap, two 2025 2nd round picks

 I know what you must be assuming. The Lakers are giving up a lot for three players. Cameron Johnson was a star that no one talked about because he was on the Brooklyn Nets.

With these trades, Los Angeles would keep Austin Reaves who could be a great sixth man off the bench. Cameron Johnson is a wing player with good size and outstanding shooting. Cam Thomas can drain shots as well.

There have been talks about Jerami Grant from the Portland Trail Blazers, but there really hasn’t been much information on what they would want except multiple first-round picks. I would rather get younger if I’m giving up future draft picks as the Lakers.

It's too early for the Lakers fans to hang their heads. Rob Pelinka is very good at “pulling rabbits out of a hat” in trades. This is a weak free agent class when Hartenstein, formerly of the New York Knicks and now a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, is getting $87 million dollars when he was a backup half the time.

The trade market is more lucrative than the free agency market. The new collective bargaining agreement will take time for teams to adjust. Stay strong.

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