Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers moved to the West Coast, their focus has been on bringing stars to the organization in order to compete for championships.
They have been extremely successful in doing so across multiple eras, so it is hard to argue with that strategy.
The Lakers’ latest attempt to bring in a third star alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis has failed miserably as Russell Westbrook has not fit in well with the organization. L.A. missed the playoffs altogether last season and are off to a poor 2-9 start to this season.
Westbrook’s play has improved since he moved to the bench, but with him, James and Davis all taking up max salary slots, the organization did not have many resources to put more talent around them to compete for a championship.
It seems this failure has not stopped the Lakers from chasing another star though as according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, L.A. covets Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal:
A star player whom the Lakers are known to covet is Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal, sources say. Going after the 10-year veteran would only be an option if Beal were to request a trade, a tactic he has been reluctant to exercise.
Beal has not given any indication that he wants to be traded and even if he does, he likely would not have a ton of leverage after signing an extension this past offseason. Beal is under contract for five more years at around $250 million, so even if he says he only wants to play for the Lakers, Washington would be under no obligation to make that happen considering how long the contract is.
Regardless though, Beal is an exceptional player that would fit well on the Lakers so it makes sense why they would want him. The best package L.A. can offer is Westbrook’s expiring deal along with their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks though, which likely isn’t enough for a player of Beal’s caliber.
Beal has had his injury concerns in the past but in nine games this season is averaging 21.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 5.7 assists.
Lakers waiting for ‘specific player’ to make trade
Before this report came out, it was previously reported that the Lakers were holding off on trading their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks until a ‘specific player’ becomes available. It can now be inferred that player is Beal, who the Lakers have had interest in for a while now.
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