The Los Angeles Lakers have a bit of optimism surrounding their team heading into the 2022-23 season. Still, it feels like they missed an opportunity to make some big moves this offseason that could have made them a surefire championship contender. With the season right around the corner, the Lakers still feel like a borderline playoff team that probably isn’t designed to make a Finals run.
That could change very quickly, though; after all, this team is led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But the rest of their roster has a lot of question marks that could end up killing this team’s title hopes. That could change if the Lakers decide to pull off a massive move before the start of the season.
The Lakers swung and missed on a couple of big deals this offseason, but recent reports have come out saying they aren’t opposed to trading their two tradeable first-round draft picks if the price is right. With that in mind, let’s take a look at two deals the Lakers could pull off before the start of the season that would undoubtedly make them a Finals contender.
2 trades that could elevate the Lakers to a championship contender
Trade No. 2: Utah Jazz
Lakers get: Mike Conley, Malik Beasley, Kelly Olynyk
Jazz get: Russell Westbrook, 2027 first-round pick, 2029 first-round pick
The Utah Jazz have quickly entered a furious rebuild this offseason, and have been looking to accrue as many draft picks as possible to aid their efforts. Even though the Lakers and Jazz already swung a trade this offseason that didn’t involve Russell Westbrook, the Jazz have had interest in Westbrook, so long as the Lakers include their two tradeable first-round draft picks.
To this point, the Jazz are the last team known to be willing to take on Westbrook and his massive contract before the start of the season. However, the Lakers have scoffed at the idea of sending over their two tradeable first-round picks in any deal involving Westbrook. Now that the draft picks are on the table, a deal could be done here.