Lakers

Lakers Rumors: LA Interested in All-Star Point Guard, 2 Trades to Get Him to LA

He would be the perfect addition.

The NBA’s trade deadline is less than 48 hours away. As of now, just two big moves have gone down — the Los Angeles Lakers addition of forward Rui Hachimura and the Dallas Mavericks addition of guard Kyrie Irving.

With so many teams on the verge of contention, there’s been somewhat of a lull in the moves. However, there are a few teams to watch as potential blow up candidates, and none are bigger than the Toronto Raptors.

As of Tuesday before the games begin, the Raptors sit at 25-30 and as the No. 11 seed in the East. They’re right on the verge of contention, however, they have a ton of money locked up between Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet (who could opt out and want a bigger deal) and Gary Trent Jr. If they wanted to shed some of that salary, there would be no better time than the present.

The Lakers could benefit from adding just about any of those players, but the only realistic options I see are VanVleet and Trent Jr. And on Tuesday, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer confirmed the Lakers interest in VanVleet.

“Several opposing executives have since labeled VanVleet as the most likely Raptor to be traded ahead of Thursday’s deadline. A pair of Western Conference contenders in the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns have been often mentioned as VanVleet suitors. The Lakers, Magic and Timberwolves have also registered interest in VanVleet, sources said. VanVleet is expected to decline his $22 million option for the 2023-24 season in search of a pay raise that approaches a maximum salary and certainly north of $30 million.”

In my opinion, VanVleet would be the best possible addition for this Lakers team right now (in terms of realistic candidates).

This season, the 6-foot-1 point guard is averaging 19.7 points, 6.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. He’s shooting just under 40 percent from the field and 35 percent from deep, but is a career 37.6 percent three-point shooter.

He’s a great defender for his size, and has a knack for getting his hands on the ball. And on offense, he’s a great scorer, and would be a much better fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

There are two potential trades the sides could make:

1. No Russell Westbrook Trade

Lakers Receive: Fred VanVleet

Raptors Receive: Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker IV and one (1) first-round pick

2. Russell Westbrook Trade

Lakers Receive: Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr.

Raptors Receive: Russell Westbrook and two (2) first-round picks

If the Raptors didn’t want to take on the remainder of Westbrook’s $47.1 million expiring contract, then they could settle for the expiring deals of Beverley and Walker. However, if they valued getting two first-round picks in the trade, which would make sense if they’re blowing it up, they could add in Trent to make the money work, and go all-in on the rebuild.

VanVleet turns 29 later this month, so he would be a perfect candidate to sign a long-term extension with the Lakers, as the point guard of the future.

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