The Los Angeles Lakers are off to an uneven start to the season. They have won two straight, but are 5-5 on the season. There have been serious struggles, especially without LeBron James on the floor, and some of their offseason signings are not working out. It is still early, but the Lakers should be all-in on winning this year.
They traded Russell Westbrook at last year’s deadline for depth and versatility, and the result was a run to the conference finals. Do the Lakers go back the other way after struggling to begin the year? Austin Reaves must play better, and injuries have played a factor. Still, it looks like LA may need someone to carry the offense, so LeBron James and Anthony Davis can make it to the playoffs healthy.
There will be marquee names available, but who could the Lakers go all-in on? They only have one first-round draft pick to trade, so the franchise won’t be able to land a true superstar. There is a star interested in returning home who is likely to be available.
Could the Los Angeles Lakers acquire a third star before the trade deadline?
They would need a team to become sellers and to find an All-Star on an expiring contract. Luckily for LA, the Chicago Bulls appear to be that franchise. They have DeMar DeRozan on an expiring contract. The five-time All-Star thought he was going to the Lakers before arriving in Chicago. This could be his time to come home and help Los Angeles make a deep playoff run.
DeRozan has made two straight All-Star appearances and is one of the best scorers in the league. He would solve the Lakers shot creation issues when LeBron is off the floor, but there would be defensive and floor spacing questions.
If the Lakers decide to add a third star, DeMar DeRozan may be the best option in their price range. Here is a look at a hypothetical deal that works.