5 Under-the-radar Lakers trade targets who can make an immediate impact

The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to a number of big-name trade candidates this summer, but what about the options who are flying under the radar?
Washington Wizards v Los Angeles Lakers
Washington Wizards v Los Angeles Lakers / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages
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2. Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers

Talks of a potential trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers have dominated headlines this offseason. The most common reason for that truth has been the fact that Donovan Mitchell and the Lakers have been linked in trade rumors.

Mitchell isn’t the only Cavaliers All-Star worth looking at, however, as starting point guard Darius Garland could be on the move if his co-star ultimately decides to remain in Ohio.

On paper, Garland and Mitchell form one of the best backcourts in the NBA. They’ve each been named All-Stars during their respective careers, with Garland’s playmaking and Mitchell’s scoring seemingly complementing one another in an ideal manner.

According to Shams Charania, Joe Vardon and Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, however, Garland’s agent, Klutch Sports CEO and longtime LeBron James affiliate Rich Paul, could request a trade for his client if Mitchell signs long-term with the Cavaliers.

"Should Mitchell decide to stay long term, sources briefed on the matter say Garland’s representation, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, would have a conversation with Cavs officials on potentially finding a new home for the one-time All-Star."

With this, as well as a potential connection between Garland and James established, it would behoove the Lakers to look into the possibility of acquiring the 24-year-old point guard.

Garland, the fifth-overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft, rose to Association prominence by averaging 21.7 points and 8.6 assists in a breakout 2021-22 season. A strong three-point shooter who can score at multiple levels and facilitate the offense, Garland looked the part of the prototypical modern-era point guard.

Since Mitchell’s arrival in 2022-23, however, Garland’s field goal attempts have decreased each season and his usage rate has followed suit.

With two 6’1” guards in one backcourt, Cleveland has also positioned Garland to earn the reputation of something of a defensive liability. With a change of scenery, however, Garland could improve in a more traditional setup and get back to producing at the level that made him an All-Star in 2022.

The cost would be steep, but pairing a sharpshooting playmaker with Anthony Davis and James could be the exact move needed to take steps towards a return to glory.