1. Michael Carter-Williams
Michael Carter-Williams has not yet played a game for the Orlando Magic this season and that is why his trade value is going to be so cheap. While MCW wasn’t a super valuable trade asset before the season, the fact that he has not played is going to make it hard for Orlando to get a great return.
This would be an inherently risky move by the Los Angeles Lakers but for the cost, the team can afford to make it happen. The Lakers are going after a championship, after all, and if you can take a low-risk move like this that could have a high reward then you should do it every time.
Carter-Williams should return before the NBA Playoffs begin and he would add a nice defensive presence to the team. The Lakers are really lacking defensive wings and MCW would provide just that. This is a guy that just three years ago put up a 2.2 Defensive Box Plus/Minus. Those are Alex Caruso-level numbers.
If anyone can utilize his defensive ability and size it is Frank Vogel. I know it has been rough this season but he elevated Kyle Kuzma into being an average defender. He could do so much more with MCW.
Plus, Carter-Williams is also an asset offensively. He can’t play next to Russell Westbrook because he cannot shoot but he would be a decent secondary ball-handler with Westbrook off the floor. In moments where Westbrook and LeBron are both on the bench, MCW can run the offense with AD.
MCW is on an expiring deal worth $3.3 million. The Lakers could package two guys they want to trade (Bazemore, DeAndre Jordan) and a second-round pick for MCW. They get defensive help and another open roster spot.