If the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to get back to their winning ways it may begin with a trade that could change the landscape of the season. The Lakers will head into the 2017-18 season with young talent, no expectations and most of all– cap space and trade assets. As they currently get ready for Training Camp, the Lakers may be looking to deal SG Jordan Clakrjons to relieve more cap space for next season. But why? It’s easy– DeMarcus Cousins.
Why not keep Clarkson and Luol Deng and use them for when they can get rid of their contracts and get something good in return?
The NBA Trade Deadline is reserved for two things. Teams looking to add veteran players for a championship run and teams looking to shed cap space. The 2018 Trade Deadline will be the time when the Lakers will begin shaping their return to glory. With players such as Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, the Lakers may have two pieces to their puzzle. But there is more needed and Magic Johnson may see the light at the end of the tunnel with Cousins.
The only way this will work is if Clarkson is not traded, Brook Lopez plays like a fire has been lit under him and the New Orleans Pelicans struggle the first half. If all these were to occur, the Lakers and Pelicans can work out a blockbuster of a deal.
To begin with, the Pelicans may be in the market for a SG if the pairing of Jure Holiday and Rajon Rondon fail to meet expectations. You can also take into account Lopez. While Lopez will provide scoring for the Lakers, his lack of defense in the paint may outweigh his offensive contributions, plus his hefty contract. But the Lakers can rid themselves of that with a Cousins deal.
If the Pelicans struggle, many expect a fire sale of sorts. While Anthony Davis will be the hot name, Cousins and his expiring contract will not be far behind. The Lakers can offer Clarkson and Lopez/ Randle for Boogie and Rondo. With Clarkson already on the block, he will provide the Pelicans with their perimeter play they’ve been lacking. The Pelicans may be willing to make such a trade as the duo of Davis and Cousins looked doomed from the start.
Pairing Davis with Lopez may be a better fit as Lopez is more of a post player anyway which will allow Davis to step out onto the perimeter more.
Pairing Cousins with Randle in the post could work well for the Lakers and with Ball running the show along with Ingram the rest of the season will be a prelude of things to come. Which brings us to the summer of 2018. How does a LeBron James/ Paul George, Cousins, Ball, Ingram and Randle lineup sounds? It all depends on what happens during the Trade Deadline.