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Perhaps their young players will reach great heights, but in the meantime, the Lakers just aren’t a very good basketball team. Don’t expect them to be represented at February’s NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans.
Nevertheless, several franchises would be thrilled to acquire prospects like Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and/or Larry Nance Jr.
If the Lakers are willing to make a major move, they’ll find takers, but would those takers offer enough in return?
A few high-quality players may be on the block, including Carmelo Anthony, Paul Millsap and DeMarcus Cousins. Anthony’s relationship with the New York Knicks is on tenuous ground, per ESPN.com’s Ian Begley. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Chris Vivlamore, the Atlanta Hawks have taken Millsap off the market after soliciting offers.
Cousins has had more downs than ups with the Sacramento Kings but currently appears to be in the team’s good graces. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported that the Kings are preparing to offer Cousins a long-term extension.
Both Anthony and Millsap are over 30 years old. Cousins has a volatile personality. The Lakers may be better off holding on to their kids than reaching for the wrong stars.
Instead, the team should make cursory calls to the Chicago Bulls (Jimmy Butler), Indiana Pacers (Paul George), Los Angeles Clippers (Blake Griffin) and Washington Wizards (John Wall), just to gauge interest. Griffin can leave the Clippers as a free agent this summer. The Bulls, Pacers and Wizards are underperforming.
The difficult reality (for the Lakers) is that it’s extremely rare for top NBA players to be traded. Teams may look to make a change, but how often does that include selling off an All-Star? The Lakers are far more likely to hold on to their kids, but it doesn’t hurt to explore opportunities.