Lakers Players They Should, Could, and Definitely Shouldn’t Trade

The 15-31 Lakers have been struggling the past month and a half which could force the organization to make shake things up.

Early in the season the Lakers had their fans wishing for a playoff berth. Since their hot start earlier in the season, the team has flown off the tracks. This has brought into question which way the team should look to go for the rest of the season.

Should they keep their roster intact and hope for a playoff run? Should they tank and collect another top three pick for their young core? If they do tank, should the team trade away all of their veteran players to give their young players more minutes?

In this article we’re gonna go player by player to see who they should, could, and definitely shouldn’t trade.

D’angelo Russell

Verdict: Definitely shouldn’t trade

This one is too obvious. Russell is nowhere near how good he can be. His ceiling is so high that at this point in his career we can’t even see it. He has the potential to be one of the elite point guards in this league. He’s already averaging 15 points and almost five assists in only his second year in the league. You can even make an argument that he’s been one of the top three players on this young Lakers squad.

Nick Young

Verdict: Could trade

We all know how good Nick has been this season. He’s one of the few real three point threats on this team and one that the team has relied heavily on. His numbers this season have been higher than his career numbers in almost every statistical category. The most important for this squad has been his points per game and his three point percentage. He averages 13.5 points per game and is shooting a ridiculous 43 percent from beyond the arc.

Despite his resurgence, Nick is 31 years old. Because of his age I don’t anticipate him being a part of the Lakers plans for the future. Due to his play this season there might even be a market out there for Swaggy P, but it would be sad to see him go.

Luol Deng

Verdict: Should trade

While we’ve seen Nick have a resurgence, we’ve seen quite the opposite from Luol Deng. He’s looked like a shell of himself since suiting up for the Purple and Gold and the fanbase has grown impatient with him. The lucrative contract he signed this past doesn’t help his case either.

Like Nick, he’s 31 years old and isn’t in the plans for the future. His lack of production and big contract makes him tougher to deal away. The only team I can think of that may want him is the Timberwolves. In Minnesota he could once again join forces with Thibs and the Lakers could get a Shabazz Muhammad or Ricky Rubio in return which is a great deal.

Julius Randle

Verdict: Definitely shouldn’t trade

Randle has arguably been the best player in his draft class and is a huge part of the teams’ plans going forward. This season he’s been one of the top two players on the team and one of the most consistent. Randle is averaging 13 points and almost nine boards a night. He’s also doubled his assist numbers going from two to four assists, taking huge steps forward as a playmaker. This one is a no brainer.

Timofey Mozgov

Verdict: Should trade

Mozgov signed a huge contract for a reason I am yet to figure out entirely. He’s only averaging eight points and five boards so the team wouldn’t exactly miss his statistical output. What they might miss is his presence. If they trade him away they lose a lot of size and would have to permanently be a small ball team.

That’s not something I am opposed to though. I would like to see both Larry Nance and Randle on the floor at the same time. Nance has proved he could be a starter in this league and that four five tandem would be fun to watch.

Jordan Clarkson

Verdict: Could trade

Let me make this clear. That says could, which means they probably shouldn’t trade away Clarkson but in this scenario it would be interesting. If the team ends up going this route, and decides to tank to get a draft pick, they need to make room for another member of the backcourt. You assume if Clarkson stayed he would be the starting shooting guard of the future. If they trade him and end up getting the first or second pick that spot could belong to Malik Monk or Lonzo Ball with D’angelo playing the two. That lineup would be long and dangerous and it could potentially be a good defensive lineup because of their length, and they would be able to switch off screens a lot.

That being said I actually like Clarkson. He’s been a threat off the bench all year long and he’s been one of the best at doing so. This year he’s averaging 14 points and shooting 45 percent from the field.

Tarik Black

Verdict: Definitely shouldn’t trade

Tarik Black is an energy player who keeps possesions alive on the offensive glass for Los Angeles. He’s also only 25 so his prime could align with the prime of the younger guys. Because of this i’d try to keep him around for awhile.

Thomas Robinson

Verdict: Could trade

Robinson and Black are very identical in the way they play. Because of this and the fact Robinson hasn’t found consistency in the league since being drafted, I don’t think he’ll be in Los Angeles for the long-haul.

Robinson is only averaging about 12 minutes per game but without him on the roster that an extra 12 minutes for the other young guns on the team.

Lou Williams

Verdict: Should trade

Lou Williams has been the best and most consistent on the team all year. He’s averaging the most points per game and is consistently providing a punch off the bench. He’s the source of a lot of their offense as he’s a great shooter and playmaker.

Despite all the good things he’s done, he is 30 so I don’t see him being a part of their long term future. He’s also a guy who has good trade value because every championship level team needs a spark plug to come off the bench and get buckets, which is what Lou does.

Larry Nance Jr.

Verdict: Definitely shouldn’t trade

Larry Nance has been great when he’s been on the court. Unfortunately for the team and Larry he’s been unhealthy for too long. Nance’s stats don’t tell the whole story so they’re not even worth mentioning. Instead, I’ll mention the passion and heart that he plays with every single game.

Another thing he does well is jump out of the gym, and we’ve seen him put a couple guys on posters this year. Nance is also only a second year so he could still get so much better.

Brandon Ingram

Verdict: Definitely don’t trade EVER

Ingram has been getting better seemingly every night. He came in and took Kobe’s locker and now it looks like he’s going to be the guy to take the keys to the franchise. He doesn’t put up massive scoring numbers like guys expected him to, but he’s much more versatile than we thought he’d be.

We’ve seen him grow into a good playmaker who oftentimes runs the point position. Although he struggle with his shot early he seems to be finding it as of late, and he’s only going to get better.

And of course, Ivica Zubac is untouchable. Don’t take calls for him. But what do you guys think? Is there anyone the Lakers should or shouldn’t trade? Let us know in the comments below!

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