LeBron James is coming off the fourth championship season of his career. The LA Lakers look as if they can potentially go back-to-back this year, too, as their team is even stronger this season than it was last year. However, could the Lakers still add another superstar? It’s possible. In fact, LA reportedly “would love to” strike a deal for the league’s leading scorer — Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
LeBron James and the LA Lakers are stacked
The Lakers acquired Anthony Davis prior to the 2019-20 season. He and LeBron James have proven to be one of the most dominant duos in the league, too. The two of them ultimately led the Lakers on a dominant run through the Western Conference playoffs last year. They then ended up defeating the Miami Heat in six games in the NBA Finals to win James his fourth title.
Now, LA is even more stacked. In addition to James and Davis, LA also has Dennis Schroder, who averaged 18.9 points per game for the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, and reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell. The combination of James, Davis, and these guys have the Lakers looking ready to go on another playoff run this year.
However, they could potentially add another superstar to play alongside James and Davis.
Bradley Beal has been incredible on a bad team
For the past three seasons, the Washington Wizards have been one of the worst teams in the NBA. Bradley Beal, though, has been one of the best players in the league.
The Wizards went 32-50 in 2018-19, but Beal averaged 25.6 points per game to go with five rebounds and 5.5 assists. He then took that next step in 2019-20. Beal averaged an incredible 30.5 points per game to go with 4.2 rebounds and a career-high 6.1 assists. The Wizards, though, went 25-47.
However, it appeared that Washington was going to be able to compete for a playoff spot in 2020-21 as they acquired former league MVP Russell Westbrook. That deal has since not worked out, though, as Washington has the worst record in the NBA at 3-11. Westbrook is also only averaging 18.1 points per game, his fewest since his second season, to go with 9.7 rebounds and 10.2 assists. Westbrook is also shooting a career-worst 37.4% from the field.
Beal, though, has been unstoppable. He is averaging a league-leading 35.4 points to go with 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists, in addition to shooting 48.1% from the field, the second-best mark of his career. Beal has also scored more than 40 points three times this year and as many as 60 in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Because of how great Beal has played and how bad the Wizards have been as a team, many people are speculating whether Beal could get traded or not. So, could the Lakers try to team him up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis?
The Lakers ‘would love to’ trade for Bradley Beal
It appears that Beal, for now, is committed to the Wizards. In 2019, he signed an extension with the team and has a player option for the 2022-23 season, according to CBS Sports.
After the Wizards’ recent loss, though, in which Beal scored 47 points, he said he is frustrated but he also reiterated how much he wants to win with the Wizards.
“It’s tough,” Beal said, according to ESPN. “We want to win, and I want to win. This is why I stayed. I want to win. I figured this is the place I can get it done. It’s tough.”
Losing a ton of games can ultimately wear on players. This has led to many people believing that Beal could eventually get traded.
“You talk to other teams who are all over the league monitoring the Beal situation closely and looking for any inkling to think that he might be coming available,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on the Jan. 28 episode of The Jump, per CBS Sports.
He also reported that the Lakers and Clippers could potentially have an interest in Beal.
“Of course the Lakers and Clippers would love to be able to get involved in that,” he said. “But do they have the draft picks? Do they have the young players it would take that would top a package from some other teams?”
At this point, it will be pretty challenging for the Lakers to beat the Brooklyn Nets if the teams were to meet in the NBA Finals. Once the Nets begin to click, James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving could become unstoppable.
If the Lakers can somehow get Beal, though — which could also be tough to accomplish based on their lack of assets — they would be a shoo-in for another NBA title.
This will be interesting to follow.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference