The 2020-21 season was definitely one to forget for the Lakers, as their hopes of winning back-to-back titles seemed to diminish halfway through the season. In the middle of February, the Los Angeles Lakers were 21-6 at one point and looking like the most dominant team in the NBA, but then Anthony Davis went down with a mysterious calf injury and shortly after, LeBron James suffered a high ankle sprain.
Davis missed nearly two months with this calf strain and LeBron missed just about a month of action, causing the Lakers to slip in the standings and fall all the way down to the play-in game territory in the Western Conference.
By the time this team was regrouped and “healthy” again, it was too late for them to make up ground on some of the Western Conference’s best teams, therefore, they wound up with the 7-seed in the Western Conference and had to play one play-in game against the Golden State Warriors to clinch their playoff spot against the Suns.
LeBron James still did not look 100% healthy in the postseason for the Lakers and with Anthony Davis going down in Game 4 against the Suns in the first-round with a groin strain, Los Angeles’ chances of repeating at championships quickly vanished.
Now in the offseason, the Lakers will definitely take a lot of time to relax, especially since they went straight from playing in the NBA Bubble to playing a new season with little to no rest, but they will also be very busy from a front-office perspective.
General manager Rob Pelinka is always looking for ways to upgrade the talent on their roster and with two superstars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, this Lakers’ organization is a very attractive destination for many of the league’s brightest stars. As a result, Pelinka and the Lakers’ front-office are going to be looking at potential trade targets this offseason that can help them chase championship No. 18 during the 2021-22 season.
With that said, let’s go ahead and take a look at three names that have come up in NBA trade rumors centered around the Lakers recently and three players that Los Angeles should look to target, especially if they are going to look to move on from Kyle Kuzma in the offseason and include him in a trade package for one of these three players.
Jerami Grant – Detroit Pistons
One of the breakout players of the 2020-21 season was Jerami Grant. After signing a three-year, $60M deal with Detroit last offseason, Grant exploded onto the scene this year, averaging 22.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assist and shooting 42.9% from the floor.
For years, Grant was always viewed as a consistent “3-and-D” guy on the wing, but was never given the opportunity to prove what he could do as “the guy” for a team. Now, in Detroit, Jerami Grant is “the guy” and he proved to the rest of the league that he can be more than just a role player.
This has definitely caught the attention of many league executives, including Rob Pelinka, as the Lakers are a team that has come up in NBA trade rumors recently connected to Jerami Grant.