The Los Angeles Lakers made the move that fans have been desperately waiting for on Wednesday, trading Russell Westbrook as part of a three-team trade with the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves.
While D’Angelo Russell does not solve all of the team’s problems and is getting a bit blown out of proportion by the fanbase, the Lakers made out well all things considered. The team only traded one first-round pick, it is top-four protected, and it will not roll over into another first-round pick if it does not convey. It will instantly convey into a second-round pick in 2027.
Everyone seems to be happy in Los Angeles with the outlook of this trade but the job is not finished for Rob Pelinka and co. If the team is truly going to be a contender this season then more moves have to be made, especially after the Phoenix Suns traded for Kevin Durant.
If the front office does the smart thing of making another move before the deadline, there are two players who stand out as the obvious trade candidates.
2 Lakers who are definitely next to be traded:
1. Lonnie Walker IV
Trading Lonnie Walker IV is a possibility that we have been on for months here at Lake Show Life. It was not a popular opinion when we first wrote it but everything has pointed in this direction since.
There are two primary reasons why Walker makes sense as a trade chip. The first is his contract. Walker makes $6.4 million, making him a lot easier to include in a trade compared to someone with a minimum contract.
Second, there is some redundancy with Walker now that Malik Beasley is on the roster. The two players are similar and Beasley is under contract for multiple seasons. He is the future, so Walker is not as important when it comes to developing young players.
2. Patrick Beverley
Patrick Beverley has the most tradeable contract on the Lakers and if the team is going to target someone with a mid-tier contract then it is going to have to include Pat Bev. His $13 million salary figure is extremely important for the Lakers to make the financials work.
Beverley does not even have the value that Walker has being a young player as he would simply be a contract figure that is attached to draft assets. That has been the case all season with Beverley being a likely trade chip.
Los Angeles does not need Beverley with the current status of the roster. The team has three point guards in D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves and Dennis Schroder to rely on. They no longer need Beverley to be some kind of makeshift three-and-D wing.
The Los Angeles Lakers traded Russell Westbrook in a massive deal that brought back D'Angelo Russell. Here is the projected starting lineup.
Instead, they could try and trade him for an actual three-and-D wing.