While the Los Angeles Lakers have the roster locked in and ready to go for the 2023-24 season, the rest of the league has experienced more shuffling before the start of training camp. After weeks of speculation, Damian Lillard was finally traded and it created a domino effect in the league.
Lillard was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team trade that included Jrue Holiday. Holiday was quickly flipped to the Boston Celtics for Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams and two first-round picks. This prompted Boston to sign a former Lakers big man (the wrong one) and has firmly put the Blazers in rebuild mode.
While Los Angeles was not involved in any of this activity, it could have an impact on the team in the future. Following the Holiday deal that sent him to Boston there is a very obvious midseason trade for LA that could be a true home run.
The Lakers could flip D’Angelo Russell for Malcolm Brogdon in a midseason trade
After a less-than-stellar Western Conference Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers re-signed D’Angelo Russell. While it was a surprising move at the time, the Lakers all but confirmed that D’Lo would at least be shopped at some point in the future with the contract he signed and the fact that he waived any sort of trade clause or kicker.
Some Lakers fans are high on D’Lo because of his shot-making ability. There is no doubt that D’Lo is talented but natural talent doesn’t always equate to winning basketball. There is a reason why D’Lo struggled in the playoffs and a reason why he has jumped from team to team in recent years.
Flipping him (along with assets) for Brogdon would be a huge win for the Lakers. Brogdon is a proven guard who can provide 90% of what Russell provides on offense without the headaches involved. He is exactly the kind of point guard the Lakers should want on the floor with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves.
The money works straight-up and the cost should not be very high. Because of his injury concerns, Brogdon has historically been cheaper on the trade market. Boston first acquired Brogdon for a protected first-round pick and an assortment of filler players.
If the Lakers want to go all-in on winning now the team could package Russell with rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino for Russell. That would be more than enough to math Brogdon’s value on the trade market. If the Lakers want to keep JHS on the roster the team could trade a future pick swap or protected first.
Regardless, if the Lakers are serious about winning then they need to commit to a roster that will play better in the playoffs. Brogdon would be a step in the right direction over Russell in this regard.