Mikal Bridges Trade Creates Golden Opportunity for Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers should take advantage of the fire sale in Brooklyn.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The transaction mill in the NBA never stops. On Tuesday night, the New York Knicks shocked the NBA world by trading for Mikal Bridges of the Brooklyn Nets, giving up significant draft capital to do so. The Brooklyn Nets deciding to move on from their best player in exchange for future assets will have ripple effects across the league.

One of those effects might be a positive one for teams like the Los Angeles Lakers. According to multiple reports, including Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Nets will fully embrace the rebuild and trade more veteran pieces in the offseason. This presents an excellent opportunity for Lakers GM Rob Pelinka.

"The Brooklyn Nets have chosen to pivot towards a rebuild, and other Nets veterans, including Cam Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Bojan Bogdanovic, Dennis Schroder, Ben Simmons, and backup center Day’Ron Sharpe, are all potential trade candidates to monitor, league sources told HoopsHype. "

Michael Scotto, HoopsHype

The Los Angeles Lakers are entering the 2024 NBA Draft armed with the No. 17 overall pick. They can also trade two future firsts, as well as the matching salaries of Gabe Vincent, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Rui Hachimura. These assets are enough to give them a chance to acquire a few of the Nets' veterans.

The potential return of Dennis Schroder would be welcome in Los Angeles. However, the top two on the Lakers' list would presumably be Cam Johnson and Dorian Finney-Smith. The Lakers need more two-way players and both Johnson and Finney-Smith have some three-and-D capabilities. Johnson is an elite three-point shooter and Finney-Smith is a high-level defender. They would be upgrades over the current wing rotation in Los Angeles.

Neither of these players would require a significant trade package. The Lakers would benefit from parting ways with one of their first-round picks to acquire either Johnson or Finney-Smith.

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