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 /
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Los Angeles Lakers, D'Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns
Los Angeles Lakers, D’Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports /

Would the Los Angeles Lakers make this trade for Karl-Anthony Towns?

Towns is a 6’11 big man that has averaged over 20 points per game for seven straight years. He is also a career 39.5 percent 3-point shooter that could help space the floor for LeBron and AD to attack. Imagine trying to stop a lineup featuring those three stars flanked by Austin Reaves and Gabe Vincent or Jarred Vanderbilt in crunch time.

The downside for LA is the four-year max extension that Towns signed that does not kick in until 2024. He is owed $36.0 million next season and an additional $169.6 million before having a $60-plus million option in 2027. Will the Lakers be willing to take on that massive contract along with the money owed to James and Davis? That is the price of acquiring a third star.

Ultimately, if Los Angeles can acquire a three-time All-Star for two role players, one first-round pick, and two second-rounders that is a no-brainer. There are fit questions next to Anthony Davis and salary cap concerns, but this is just too good to pass up.

Los Angeles Lakers grade: B+

It is not perfect, but the Lakers do not need it to be. They would love to keep those two second-rounders and not have to give up Rui Hachimua. Fans must remember to receiving in a trade takes some give. LA does that here, and it nets them a third star.

Will the Los Angeles Lakers trade D’Angelo Russell before the February deadline? Expect Rob Pelinka and the team’s brain trust to explore every option, and stay tuned to see what goes down.