The Los Angeles Lakers are moving toward the offseason after an early playoff exit. The failed NBA title defense quickly shifts the gears toward retooling the roster to return to championship contention. With that in mind, Los Angeles could LeBron James and Anthony Davis with a star talent from longtime rival Boston Celtics.
Lakers are eyeing considerable change after playoff disappointment
The Lakers are over a week removed from suffering a disappointing first-round playoff exit.
It marked the first time in James’ career he failed to move past the opening round. Injuries plagued the roster, but it was also inconsistent play from the supporting cast that derailed the Lakers’ title hopes.
As Los Angeles moves into the offseason, the team could explore acquiring a four-time All-Star guard from its most-hated rival.
Lakers may pair LeBron James and Anthony Davis with a star from hated rival Celtics
The Lakers are heading into a crucial offseason that will see the organization explore several scenarios to improve the roster.
The front office may be quite active in the trade market to acquire star talent due to its financial constraints. With that in mind, The Athletics’ David Aldridge recently voiced on the CLNS’ Celtics Beat podcast that Los Angeles could make a serious push to land Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker.
“If you told me the Lakers are trying to get him, I’d go, ‘Yeah, that makes sense.’ You know what I mean? That makes sense,” Aldridge said. “The problem is, I don’t think the Celtics want Dennis Schroder back, but you have to figure out how to make that deal, right? I won’t be surprised if he’s moved this summer at all, because, to your point, I don’t think this has worked out the way he thought it was going to work out in Boston for him.”
Walker is coming off an injury-plagued campaign, where he played in only 43 regular-season games due to nagging knee issues that forced him to split back-to-back sets. In addition, the injury bug has plagued him in his brief stint with the Celtics, preventing him from being a more significant offensive factor.
The 31-year-old is heading into the third year of his four-year, $140.7 million deal that will pay him around $36 million next season. He also holds a $37.6 million player option for the 2022-23 season.
His hefty salary would require the Lakers to get Dennis Schroder to agree to a sign-and-trade. The veteran guard is reportedly eyeing making at least $20 million annually in his next contract.
Meanwhile, the team could include Kyle Kuzma, who will be entering the first year of his three-year, $39 million extension. He will make $13 million next season, putting his and Schroder’s possible salary near Walker’s massive annual number.
All scenario rides on Schroder and the Celtics holding mutual interest while the team would need to buy into Kuzma’s potential. Ultimately, Aldridge’s comments are merely a suggestion, but Walker will be available if the Lakers want to explore that route.
Los Angeles will have several scenarios to explore
The scenario of acquiring Walker will be one of many possibilities the Lakers will have ahead.
Los Angeles wants to improve its backcourt as Schroder didn’t provide the impact the team hoped to garner. The front office may explore a sign-and-trade to land Kyle Lowry, who the team nearly landed before this past season’s trade deadline.
Meanwhile, other guards such as Derrick Rose, Lonzo Ball, and Spencer Dinwiddie may enter the free-agent market. The Lakers will have several options, and it’s a matter of determining what will elevate them back into title contention.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.