As the losses started to mount the trade speculation surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers only continued to grow. The purple and gold have seemingly started to turn a corner but the team still needs to make additions at the trade deadline to reach the ultimate goal of winning the NBA Championship.
The most talked-about player in these trade rumors has been none other than D'Angelo Russell. Trade rumors around Russell stem back to the summer after he signed his two-year deal and they have only grown as time has gone on. Russell playing well hasn't even been enough to quell these rumors.
Trading Russell is not the only move the Lakers could make, though. Los Angeles has other assets to trade with the most valuable being Austin Reaves. Up to this point, all Lakers fans have heard is about how untouchable Reaves is and how he would not be traded.
However, as is the case with almost every player in the league, there is a price where the Lakers simply can't say no. In a recent article breaking down potential trade packages with the Detroit Pistons, Jovan Buha of The Athletic shared what caliber of player it would take for the Lakers to move on from Reaves.
"They [the Lakers] have no interest in trading Reaves. The exception would be in a deal for a clear-cut third All-Star, with a name like Lauri Markannen being the only player of that ilk potentially available on the trade market (and an unrealistic option for the Lakers, to be clear)."
Lakers set their Austin Reaves trade price at Lauri Markannen
As Buha alludes to above, the odds of the Lakers actually taking a swing at Lauri Markannen are pretty slim. Utah is not going to be shopping Markannen and it would take a grandfather offer for the team to move on from him.
But that puts into perspective just how highly the Lakers view Reaves. The only way this deal happens is if the team is getting a bona fide third all-star. And while he is very talented, someone like Dejounte Murray does not fit that billing.
Reaves is a great player and there is no doubt that he is beloved by the organization and the fanbase. However, this might be a case of the team overrating its own player, as the numbers do not indicate that Reaves should be this untouchable force.
That does not mean that the Lakers should be outright shopping Reaves at the deadline. If the team were to trade him it would have to be for a deal that significantly increases the title odds. But to make him untouchable is a bit extreme.
Should the Lakers include Reaves for someone like Murray? Probably not. But if there is a player between Murray and Markannen that becomes available, it is at least worth the conversation for the purple and gold.