The Lakers should have traded this package for Victor Oladipo

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The NBA trade deadline has passed and the Los Angeles Lakers did not make a move. There was some speculation about the Lakers trading for Kyle Lowry, but the deal seemingly did not go through because of the Lakers’ insistence to keep Talen Horton-Tucker.

You cannot blame the Lakers for liking the potential of THT, but Lakers fans better hope that the team re-signs him this upcoming offseason and does not let him walk away on a poison-pill offer sheet. It would be the Julius Randle situation all over again.

That is not the trade that I am upset about, though. The potential trade that the Los Angeles Lakers should have made was for Victor Oladipo, who was traded to the Miami Heat.

And in case you missed it, the package for Oladipo was not that expensive.

Based on this package, which was for two veterans who don’t add anything to the Rockets and a draft swap, it is clear that the Lakers could have easily gotten a deal done for Victor Oladipo without including THT, which I originally thought was going to be the biggest hangup of any potential deal.

This is such a low price for Oladipo that it really is quite a shame that the Lakers did not get something done. This is a team that is at risk of bottoming out with LeBron James and Anthony Davis hurt which has also fallen behind as every other contender in the league has gotten better this season.

They needed a third big-name player to keep up with Brooklyn and they could have gotten that in Oladipo. Yes, he has not been fantastic this season, but we have all seen how high the ceiling for Oladipo is when he is in the right situation.

And boy would he have fit nicely in LA.

The trade package the Los Angeles Lakers should have sent for Victor Oladipo:

This trade would have been more than enough, but there would take some creativity for this deal to work. The Steipen Rule in the NBA prohibits teams from trading a draft pick two years in a row and the Pelicans currently ‘own’ the Lakers’ 2021 pick.

However, that pick is protected from 8-30. There is a zero percent chance that the Lakers get a pick in the top seven.

The pick then transfers to next year but because it can transfer the Lakers cannot trade the pick ahead of time. However, the Lakers and Rockets can come to a handshake agreement that the pick is essentially Houston’s and LA will trade said player to Houston after the 2021 NBA Draft.

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We see this all the time. That is why Luka Doncic was forced to wear a Hawks hat on draft night, not a Mavericks hat, because the pick technically could not be traded: Luka had to be traded. This is the exact same logic that the team used to trade the 28th pick last year for Dennis Schroder.

And I know what you are saying: all that and a first-round pick for Oladipo? But why?

Oladipo is undoubtedly an upgrade from KCP on both ends on the floor and can do more defensively than KCP can do. He is a much better version of KCP with a higher ceiling. Matthews and McKinnie are thrown in for salary reasons and the Lakers would be trading a pick in the 20s anyways.

We have seen that teams do not value draft picks as much as before and rightfully so. The chance of landing a legitimate rotation player that late in the first round is slim (even if the Lakers are good at it) and if you have the chance to trade a potential eighth guy in the rotation for a better chance at winning the title you do it every single time.

The Rockets essentially get the same package but get an outright pick instead of a swap. They also can flip KCP in the offseason for more capital.

And the Lakers also open up two roster spots. One could have been used to sign Andre Drummond, who is being bought out, one to bring back Damian Jones and one to save just in case, as the team did with Dion Waiters last year.

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This package is much better than the Miami Heat package and it would have been solid for LA. Maybe there is such a thing as a Lakers tax.