2. Lakers add several pieces from tanking Pistons
The Detroit Pistons should be one of the most active teams at the deadline this year. Detroit is in a position where losing games is beneficial to the team as locking in one of the three worst records in the league will secure the best odds to get the first overall pick and the opportunity to draft Victor Wembanyama.
Detroit is already well on its way to getting great lottery odds with Cade Cunningham out for the year but it would not hurt to trade role players for a massive contract like Westbrook only to buy him out.
The Pistons have the contracts to make this work and previous conversations between the two teams indicate that there could be something here. If so, the framework for the trade builds itself.
Bojan Bogdanovic is the biggest trade chip the Pistons have and while recent reports indicate that Detroit may not trade him quite yet, the right offer can certainly convince the team to move on from the role player who they acquired for dirt cheap in the offseason.
The Pistons would be acquiring two of the most valuable future picks at the deadline (as well as a second-rounder in 2023) for three role players who would not get nearly this much if they were traded separately at the deadline.
Bogdanovic would be the perfect third scorer on the Lakers to take some of the workload off of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Alec Burks would be the perfect floor spacer with a 43.6% three-point rate and Nerlens Noel would offer a decent depth option behind Thomas Bryant at center.
There is value in this Lakers trade, even if the team is not getting a star in return. Los Angeles would have its core for a title run this season as well as next season.