Grade the trade: Proposal sees Lakers flip D’Angelo Russell for All-NBA big

Los Angeles Lakers, D'Angelo Russell. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Lakers, D'Angelo Russell. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 3

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the middle of an outstanding offseason. They checked off their top priority by re-signing Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura and added multiple rotation options in free agency. The Lakers plan on building on their conference finals run, and their offseason work puts them in a prime position to accomplish that.

One of the more puzzling deals was the Lakers re-signing D’Angelo Russell, despite his playing time decreasing drastically in the postseason. His new two-year $36 million pact could be trade fodder for the team, especially after it was confirmed that he waived his no-trade clause. What can the Lakers get in return for the 27-year-old former All-Star?

Los Angeles cannot trade Russell until Oct. 5 and making any move will be tough before the deadline because they have so many recently signed players. Plenty of big fish could be available in February, but can the Lakers land one?

Karl-Anthony Towns could be a legitimate Los Angeles Lakers trade target at the deadline

Towns is a three-time All-Star big man, but the Timberwolves have a logjam in the frontcourt. They traded a massive haul of draft capital to acquire Rudy Gobert in the 2022 offseason and just signed Naz Reid to a new three-deal. With Kyle Anderson and Jaden McDaniels vying for minutes at the four, something has to give, and Minnesota could be eager to dump Towns in February.

The Timberwolves want to make a deep playoff run, so they will be searching for role players to help them win now in any deal. That could open the door for a blockbuster.

The Los Angeles Lakers have title hopes and will again be searching for ways to improve their roster, despite having limited assets after trading their 2024 and 2027 first-round draft picks in previous deals. They will be praying that a marquee name becomes available at a discounted rate, and KAT could be the perfect option for the Lakers.