The Los Angeles Lakers are, presumably, in for quite the hectic offseason. After missing the playoffs for a sixth straight year, the front office finds itself in a position where it needs to surround LeBron James with talent entering his second year in L.A. The biggest catch, of course, is New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, but in the event he’s unattainable, the Lakers apparently have their eyes on a pair of Eastern Conference All-Star guards.
According to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, the duo of Washington Wizards standout Bradley Beal and Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry have piqued the team’s interest.
The Lakers have other players they’re targeting in trades, according to league sources. Chief among them is Wizards guard Bradley Beal, though with the Wizards not yet hiring a front office honcho, no decision has been made whether to trade Beal. But LA will be in position to make an attractive offer if Beal is put on the block.
There’s also interest in point guard Kyle Lowry, who could be available if the Raptors lose Kawhi Leonard in free agency. Because of Lowry’s age (33) and contract ($33 million for next season), the Lakers could bring him in for a relatively limited outgoing package.
Both players have popped up in trade rumors numerous times over the years. Beal makes a ton of sense for L.A., as he’d give the team scoring and play-making out of the backcourt that would work really well next to James. Plus, seeing as how he turns 26 this June and has two more years on his contract, he’d be a smart short and long-term investment for the Lakers. Regardless of who the Wizards hire to run their front office, you’d assume they understand Beal’s value, meaning he’d command a lot in trade talks or, potentially, be off the table altogether.
Lowry is a bit more interesting. He’s a really good player, but he’d also run the risk of being a rental due to his pending unrestricted free agency next summer, and it stands to reason that it’d be better to move whatever needs to be moved for Lowry for someone who would be around long-term. Having said that, if Kawhi Leonard goes elsewhere this summer and the Raptors decide to go through a hard reset, one which sees Lowry heading elsewhere, who knows what could happen.
We already know Frank Vogel will coach the Lakers next season, and we learned on Friday that the primary decision maker — unless you believe the reports of a Kurt Rambis shadow presidency — will be general manager Rob Pelinka. It remains to be seen what the roster will look like, but in the event the team turns to the trade market to find stars, Beal and Lowry sound like a pair of coveted targets.