Adding a third star this summer won’t be easy for the Lakers, even if there are a few on the market, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. L.A.’s season was derailed by injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, showing the need for another elite player, but the team may not have enough valuable assets to offer.
The Lakers own the 22nd pick in this year’s draft, but don’t have another tradable first-rounder until 2027. They’ve still got their selections in 2023 and 2025, but are limited by the league rule preventing future first-round picks from being traded in back-to-back years.
Goon cites the Trail Blazers‘ Damian Lillard and the Sixers‘ Ben Simmons as players who might be available, but he isn’t convinced that the Lakers can match salaries with a competitive offer, which would mean sending $31.4MM to Portland or $24.5MM to Philadelphia. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma will each make $13MM next season, but a package with them and the two draft picks may not be the best deal the Sixers can get. The Lakers could have another trade chip if Montrezl Harrell opts in at $9.7MM, but that still may not be enough for Philadelphia.
Getting the Blazers to trade Lillard for a similar package seems nearly impossible, and Goon sees L.A.’s best chance as a sign-and-trade involving Dennis Schröder. However, Schröder has expressed a desire to re-sign with the Lakers and there’s no guarantee that Portland would want him in return for Lillard.
There’s more from L.A.:
- Schröder is expecting to get offers in the range of $100MM to $120MM in free agency, Armin Andres, Vice President of the German Basketball Federation, tells TalkBasket. Andres confirms that Schröder isn’t playing for Germany this summer because the cost of insuring his future earnings is too high.
- The Lakers and Clippers will be the most interested teams in acquiring Kemba Walker from the Thunder, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his latest podcast (hat tip to Justin Leger of Yahoo Sports). Walker, who was traded from the Celtics last month, was plagued by knee problems all season and still has two years and nearly $74MM left on his contract.
- The NBA’s board of governors gave unanimous approval to the sale of 27% of the team to Todd Boehly and Mark Walter, according to Scott Soshnick of Sportico. The deal is expected to be finalized next week.