Grade the trade: Lakers flip D'Angelo Russell to Raptors in 3-team proposal

Los Angeles Lakers v Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Lakers v Portland Trail Blazers / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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How the Los Angeles Lakers can jump into a Pascal Siakam trade:

The Lakers should refrain from sending any first-round picks to the Raptors in this trade but the team shouldn't have to. Los Angeles can pair Russell with a recent first-round pick that doesn't play anyway and that should be more than enough for the Raptors to reroute Hield to LA. Here is what that trade could look like:

raptors 3-team

There are a lot of moving parts in this trade and quite frankly, the Lakers are not instrumental to making it happen. The Raptors and Pacers could absolutely follow the framework of this deal and leave the Lakers out of it entirely. Instead of Russell and Jalen Hood-Schifino going to the Raptors, Hield would just wind up in Toronto.

But that would be poor asset management by the Raptors. There is absolutely no reason to settle on Hield if he is going to come in to play 35 games and leave in the offseason. If the Raptors can flip that contract figure for something they absolutely have to.

And that is what they would do. Russell is a lateral move if not a step back from Hield depending on what a team needs and they also would pick up a promising young player in JHS. Russell has a player option for the 2024-25 season so he could either stay and provide shooting or would act as an expiring that the Raptors can wipe out if he leaves.

Indiana could also theoretically trade Hield straight to the Lakers but Los Angeles doesn't really have any players that would make the Pacers any better. Instead, Hield can be rerouted to the LA this way with the Lakers giving up the exact same return either way.

Let's jump into the trade grades, shall we?