4 Lakers who increased their trade value this season

These Lakers are worth more if the franchise decides to trade them.
Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony Davis
Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony Davis / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers won four more regular season games than last year, but could not match their postseason success. They went through the Play-In Tournament to the conference finals in 2023 but were bounced in the opening round this season. LA needs more talent and faces a crucial offseason.

It all starts with LeBron James and his $51.4 million player option for next season. King James has leverage and likely uses it. He wants the Lakers to upgrade their roster and more. It will be interesting to see how much LA does as LeBron heads toward his 40th birthday in December.

The Lakers will have to make trades if they want to significantly improve their roster because they project to be over the first tax apron. They must give to get, and these players saw their value rise this season with strong play.

4. D’Angelo Russell

D-Lo signed a two-year $36 million contract with the Lakers last summer, but the second season is a player option. Many believed the Lakers would trade him before the deadline, but Russell was too good. He became a crucial shot-maker, floor spacer, and ball-handler in LA. The 6’3 guard was inconsistent in the playoffs, but the Lakers likely do not get there without him.

Russell averaged 18.0 points, 6.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 0.9 steals in 32.7 minutes per game this season. He shot 45.6 percent from the field and 41.5 percent on his 3-point attempts. D-Lo will keep shooting, and the Lakers need him to opt in for next season.

It will be difficult to make a blockbuster trade without his $18.6 million salary to use in matching. They have Rui Hachimura but need a second mid-tier salary. Gabe Vincent and Jarred Vanderbilt dealt with injuries and saw their value drop. It could put LA in a difficult spot. If Russell becomes a free agent, the Lakers will have to trade Austin Reaves to acquire a marquee talent.