Los Angeles Lakers, LaMelo Ball

Getty LaMelo Ball takes a jumpshot.

The Los Angeles Lakers will have assets to use on the draft night, giving them an opportunity to land win-now players. Showing their willingness to improve could also show LeBron James why he should re-sign with them.

In a proposed draft night trade from Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, the Lakers would move players, three-first round picks, and two-first round swaps for LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets. Favale targeted Ball due to other teams having better packages for Donovan Mitchell and Trae Young if they become available, but wrote that “Ball could pose similar challenges.”

Hornets would get: Rui Hachimura, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Gabe Vincent, No. 17 pick, 2025 second-round pick (most favorable from Lakers or Clippers), 2026 first-round pick swap, 2027 second-round pick, 2028 first-round pick swap, 2029 first-round pick (unprotected), 2030 second-round pick, 2031 first-round pick (top-one protection; turns into 2031 second-rounder if not conveyed)

Lakers would get: Ball

“Shifting to Ball could pose similar challenges. He’s 23 in August, under team control for the next five years and, by all appearances, not readily available,” Favale wrote on June 20. “More than a few teams will scatter given his injury history. He has numerous ankle issues in the rear view, missed 20-plus games in three of his first four seasons and made just 58 combined appearances over the last two years.

“The promise of Ball’s shooting, vision and contrived anarchy on the break and how it all fits beside LeBron James (player option) and Anthony Davis is enough to get the Lakers looking beyond the risks. This is a move that weaponizes their present and constructs a sturdy bridge into the future. And no, L.A. shouldn’t quibble about surrendering so much draft equity when it’s keeping Reaves.”

‘Two Feasible Paths For’ Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers’ decisions this offseason will be centered around whether they want to trade for a third star or upgrade their supporting cast. As the Lakers saw this past year, non star players like Derrick White are big pieces to championship teams.

Alex Caruso was an important part of the Lakers 2020 championship and could potentially have that same fit again. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was a contributor on that Lakers roster and did the same with the Denver Nuggets when they won in 2023.

According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, there are “two feasible paths for the Lakers.”

“There are two feasible paths for the Lakers: modest moves with their midsized contracts to upgrade the supporting cast around James and Davis, or a larger swing with the bulk of their assets to acquire a third All-Star-caliber player,” Buha wrote on May 30.

LaMelo Ball Brings Them a Young Star

If the Los Angeles Lakers can’t land Young, Mitchell, or any other player that could become available, Ball wouldn’t be a bad backup option.

The best part about trading for the All-Star is his age. Ball, 22, would be a young star that the Lakers could build around over the next decade if they kept him around.

The 2020-21 Rookie of the Year has only played in 58 games over the past two seasons but was proving to be one of the bright young players in the league. In 22 games during the 2023-24 campaign, he averaged 23.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and eight assists.

His 3-point shot would also give the Lakers spacing, as he’s a career 37.4% 3-point shooter on 7.6 attempts per game.

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