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Three big names the Lakers should consider at the trade deadline

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The NBA trade deadline is approaching. The Lakers are one of the favourites to win the 2021 NBA Championship and become back-to-back champions.

However, there are areas where the Lakers could definitely improve. They lack the great rim protection they had last year.

JaVale McGee was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dwight Howard signed with the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s fair to say Marc Gasol isn’t great at protecting the paint at all, and his defense may harm the Lakers.

Another area they may need to address is a third star. When you look at some of the contenders this year, they have three people who could go off and perform the best on any given night.

The Brooklyn Nets have James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant. The Sixers have Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid.


The Bucks have Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Khris Middleton. A third star could make all the difference for the Lakers in the playoffs.

The third star may be even more necessary now that LeBron James and Anthony Davis are both injured. The Lakers are likely to struggle to win games and will drop a lot of places in the Western Conference.

As it stands now they are only 2.5 games ahead of the sixth seed, the Portland Trail Blazers. A third star may be what they need in order to make playoffs, and have a good seed before James and Davis return.

Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond has had strong links with a move to the Los Angeles Lakers, but this move can only happen if the Cleveland Cavaliers buy him out.

The Cavaliers no longer are using Drummond due to the emergence of Jarett Allen, who they acquired after a three team trade involving the Brooklyn Nets and the Houston Rockets.


In a controversial move, they have taken him out of the team completely and are open to moving him.

The Lakers need another center because Gasol isn’t dependable on the defensive end. Neither is their other center, Montrezl Harrell. If one was to get into foul trouble it could be very problematic.

Drummond may not be a great rim protector but he is better than what they have apart from Davis. With Davis in the line up, the Lakers would be much stronger at protecting the paint.

He is also great rebounder. He has led the league in rebounding four times in his career and averages 13.8 rebounds across his entire career.

Drummond is likely to thrive at the Lakers because he will be playing with one of the greatest to play the game and one of the best leaders in the NBA, LeBron James.

A criticism of Drummond is that he tries to do too much on offense, but James is likely to make sure that he is aware of his role and sticks to what he is best at.

He is averaging 15.2 field goal attempts a game in the 25 games he played this year, that number is likely to decrease for the Lakers which will be great for the team.

Hassan Whiteside

There have been rumours that the Sacramento Kings may buy out Hassan Whiteside. If they do this would be a great move for the Lakers.

Whiteside would give the Lakers the back up they need at the five position and the paint protection they miss from last year’s squad.

He is a great shot blocker and led the league in blocks per game last year, averaging 2.9. It wasn’t the first time he has led the league in blocks per game either. He did it before, averaging 3.7 in the 2015-16 season with the Miami Heat.

The Lakers don’t need much more from Whiteside other than help protecting the paint. This simple role could be the difference in the Lakers becoming back-to-back champions.

Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo has been averaging 20.8 points this season, and it is likely that the Houston Rockets will be looking to move him before the deadline.

Oladipo would be a great third star for the Lakers, he is capable of creating his own shot and getting to the rim. Most significantly, he is a very good defender.

In 2017-18, he led the league in steals per game, averaging 2.4. He also made the NBA All-Defensive First Team and the All-NBA Third team.

He was shooting 36.2% from beyond the arc whilst at the Indiana Pacers although that was only nine games. Since moving to Houston he has been shooting 32% while attempting 7.7 threes a game.

Playing with LeBron James he is likely to see a lot more open looks so we can expect his average to go up if the Lakers were to acquire him.

The problem with the Oladipo move is that they would need to trade for him. The Lakers would likely have to give up some of their good pieces for him, which would definitely include Montrezl Harrell.

Harrell has been great coming off the bench for the Lakers so he would be a big miss for a team who had difficulties relying on their bench.

It is also a big risk as Oladipo is a free agent next year. There’s no guarantee he resigns with the Lakers.

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