Can Damain Lillard Pair Up With LeBron James & Anthony Davis for the Lakers Next Season?

Published 07/03/2021, 8:28 AM EDT


The Lakers were one of the most stacked teams coming into the season. With superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis as the leading duo for the team, and players like Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell added to the roster, the Purple and Gold were set to dominate.

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But injuries certainly killed the Lakers this season. With injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the regular season, the Lakers fell to a seventh seed in the regular season. While they did falter in regular season, the Lakers had hope that they could step up in the post-season.

May 25, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts against the Phoenix Suns during the second half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters

With LBJ and Davis still not a 100%, the Purple and Gold hoped that they could see their supporting cast step up. But their post-season certainly revealed the lapses of the role players who put up a lackluster performance in the biggest stage of them all.

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Given how the supporting cast underperformed and also the fact that Bron is getting older and AD is injury prone, the Lakers might on the lookout for yet another superstar.

With constant disappointments in the postseason, Blazers’ superstar Damian Lillard is an obvious choice. Averaging 28.8 points, 7.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds, Lillard is an offensive beast.

LeBron’s passing coupled with Dame’s electrifying shooting, the Lakers can be a formidable team with the addition of the 31-year-old. But how can the Lakers pull off this move?

Lakers first trade offer for Damian Lillard

The Lakers definitely struggled a lot to solidify who their go to guard was. While Dennis Schroder initially showed promise in the regular season, his streaky performances were a big reason for the Lakers’ collapse in the post season. The same was the case with Kentavious Caldwell Pope who had a series to forget against the Suns.

Kyle Kuzma who has shown immense scoring potential hasn’t thrived as a rotational piece. While his defending and rebounding have improved significantly, his streaky shooting can be a cause of massive concern.

While KCP, Kuzma and Schroder are important players to the Lakers roster, the Purple and Gold can build a solid trade package around the three key players.

Giving up the trio for Damian Lillard, Carmelo Anthony and Anfernee Simmons, this trade is a win-win for both the parties. The Blazers will finally have a point guard who is not taking away shots from CJ McCollum, making CJ the primary offensive option.

They will also add a solid shooter in KCP and a dominant rebounder in Kyle Kuzma. A pick and Alfonzo McKennie only add to their increasing list of assets. Both the teams however need to re-sign some of their players to a sign and trade option which makes this deal a tad bit complicated.

The Lakers, meanwhile, add some much needed offensive boost to the team with Lillard. Even veteran Carmelo Anthony and Anfernee Simmons add to a slim second unit. Given how many players are in for winning a championship, we might see some decent free agent defenders in the market who will help to maintain the defensive capabilities of the Lakers.

Trade offer 2 for Damian Lillard

Another offer the Lakers can look for is to add another disgruntled star in Jusuf Nurkic along with Lillard. Nurkic who had some decent performances with Portland, is a big who can shoot and pass the ball and can also limit other big men.

While veteran Marc Gasol pretty much does all of these things, he is getting slower and old. Adding a mobile big like Nurkic will open up the floor for AD and Bron who tend to drive to the basket.

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As for the Blazers, not only will they get guards like Dennis Schroder and a young project like Talen Horton Tucker, they will also get a tenacious big man Montrezl Harrell and a rebounding machine in Kyle Kuzma. They will also get a 2025 first-round pick, which will be a great addition to the assets.

Both the Lakers and the Blazers are in win-now mode right now, but the defending champions certainly have an advantage. With a bigger market, they have become a free agent destination.

With Lillard’s stock at an all-time high, the Blazers might use this season to rebuild a balanced roster. Do you think the Lakers can bring in Lillard next season or will the Blazers keep hold of their disgruntled talisman?

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Aditya Mohapatra

1016 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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