The Los Angeles Lakers brought in a handful of new faces via NBA free agency. However, you could say that the wing position is one area in their depth chart that could use a bit of help. LeBron James is expected to start at the three spot for LA this season alongside D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Anthony Davis. At this point, though, it wouldn’t help to add a more viable backup wing for the Lakers.
Lakers Land Keldon Johnson From Spurs in Trade Proposal
The Lakers did bring in a couple of small forwards over the summer and these come in the form of Cam Reddish and Taurean Prince. While both players are capable backups, there’s no denying that LA could also do better.
Lee Tran of Fadeaway World has proposed an intriguing trade scenario involving the San Antonio Spurs wherein the Lakers land high-scoring wing Keldon Johnson. Below are the details of the trade:
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Keldon Johnson
San Antonio Spurs Receive: D’Angelo Russell, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Maxwell Lewis, 2029 First-Round Pick
Tran believes that not only would Johnson be a viable backup for LeBron at the wing, but also, the 6-foot-5 small forward could also force his way into the starting lineup as a potential third option on offense behind James and Anthony Davis:
“Though a lot of the league’s top-tier stars may not be attainable for the Los Angeles Lakers due to their relatively limited asset chest, Keldon Johnson is a young forward with upside that the San Antonio Spurs might be willing to trade.
“… Keldon Johnson is clearly a quality scorer, and he would likely slot in as the No. 3 option behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He also has two-way potential, standing at 6’5 with a 6’9 wingspan with great athleticism for his position,” Tran wrote.
Last season with the Spurs, Johnson averaged a career-best 22.0 points on 45.2 percent shooting, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assists, while also connecting on 2.1 triples per game.
Lakers Send D’Angelo Russell to Spurs
There appears to be a common trend here in terms of these hypothetical trade scenarios, and it usually involves the Lakers shipping D’Angelo Russell off as the centerpiece of a trade package. Tran believes that Russell, who won’t be eligible for a trade until later this season, is going to be surplus to requirements in LA.
However, in San Antonio, Russell could be the veteran point guard that unlocks Victor Wembanyama’s potential. You also have to note that the former All-Star point guard thrived with the Minnesota Timberwolves playing alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, and the Spurs could see an (All-Star-level?) resurgence from Russell now that he gets to team up with Wemby.
The Lakers will also send their two draft picks from the recently concluded draft to the Spurs, including 17th overall pick Jalen Hood-Schifino. The highly promising 20-year-old falls in line with San Antonio’s Wembanyama-led timeline, while the 2029 first-rounder is another valuable asset for the Spurs to use in the future.
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