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Five Lakers Trade Targets Who Could Salvage the Season

Ryan Phillips
Jerami Grant, Washington Wizards v Detroit Pistons
Jerami Grant, Washington Wizards v Detroit Pistons / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled mightily this season and are 22-22 through 44 games. The team's Big Three of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis has not fit well together and the roster needs a major shakeup if Frank Vogel's squad plans to make any noise in the postseason. The problem is, the Lakers don't have a ton of assets other NBA teams would be excited out. Still, something could be worked out.

Both Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn could entice teams, and the Lakers have some second-round draft picks to deal, a $4.4 million trade exception and future first-rounders as well. It's not much, but with some clever maneuvering, a deal could be had. What follows is a list of five players the Lakers could acquire to help turn around their season.

Eric Gordon

The Lakers are interested in Gordon and he'd instantly become one of the team's best players. While he's 33 and no longer in his prime, Gordon is a career 37.2 percent 3-point shooter and is hitting 45.5 percent from beyond the arc this season. He's only playing 29.3 minutes per game but is averaging 14.9 points per game for the Houston Rockets. He's due to make $19.6 million next season, and the Rockets are looking to move his deal.

Gordon would likely come for a reasonable price and give the Lakers some scoring punch on the wing, though he wouldn't provide much defensively. He'd fit well with James and Westbrook as a floor-spacer. If the Lakers are going to win this season they'll have to outscore people. Gordon could help in that effort.

Terrence Ross

Terrence Ross is another player the Lakers are looking at who could provide a lift on the wing. Ross is still a great athlete at 30, and could fill a 3-and-D role in LA. His 3-point shooting is down this year (31.4 percent) but he's hit 36.4 percent from beyond the arc during his career. While his defensive rating is an ugly 116.8 this season, he's played solid defense for long stretches previously during his career.

Ross is another low-cost option who could provide scoring from the wing and ease the pressure on James, Westbrook and Davis. He has one season left on his deal for $11.5 million, so the price tag is reasonable and the Orlando Magic are likely looking to move him in a rebuild year.

Gary Trent Jr.

Another perimeter player the Lakers have expressed interest in is Gary Trent Jr. The 23-year-old shooting guard is averaging 16.4 points per game for the Toronto Raptors this season, while hitting 36.8 percent of his 3-pointers. He's a 38.6 percent shooter from beyond the arc during his career. Trent is also an improving defender.

Trent is in the first year of a three-year, $51.8 million deal. He's playing really well so the Raptors may not want to move him. But, again, he's exactly what the Lakers need, a floor-spacing perimeter guy with a reasonable contract.

Jerami Grant

This is the big fish the Lakers are chasing. Grant is a two-way wing it seems everyone in the NBA is looking to trade for. The 27-year-old has another year left on his deal for around $21 million, and is averaging 20.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 33.2 minutes per game. He's exactly what the Lakers need in a wing with scoring punch who is an excellent defender.

The price tag for Grant will not be cheap. The Lakers don't own a first-round pick until 2027, so the Detroit Pistons may balk at any deal that doesn't include assets in the near-term. Horton-Tucker and Nunn could help the salaries work out and aren't terrible pieces. But Detroit is likely to get some pretty nice offers here.

Grant is the exact kind of player who could turn around this struggling Lakers squad. It will take some serious maneuvering to make a deal happen though.

Myles Turner

The Indiana Pacers really want to move Myles Turner before the trade deadline and the Lakers are interested in acquiring the 25-year-old. He has one year and $17.5 million left on his contract and might come cheaper, given how his play has fallen off.

Turner is only averaging 12.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 29.4 minutes per game this season. He's hitting 50.9 percent of his shots from the field and hitting 33.3 percent of his 3-pointers. He's a movable center who can shoot and could revive his career playing alongside James, Westbrook and Davis.

Again, this deal would take some maneuvering but Turner wouldn't cost as much as Grant would and could provide a serious lift.

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