The NBA offseason is a time reserved for trade rumors and speculation.
Given the Los Angeles Lakers’ ugly exit from the playoffs, and the retirement of Phil Jackson, the team has been linked more to the rumors and speculation this offseason than past years.
The Lakers still have a very talented roster. Therefore, they may not necessarily need to trade for a superstar player. But they need to make a change or two, in hopes of making it back to the NBA Finals.
Here are five possible trade targets for the Lakers this summer.
In his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Ron Artest had career lows in points (8.5) and rebounds (3.3).
Ron Artest will forever be remembered for his contributions in the 2010 NBA Playoffs. But is the organization confident in his abilities ability going forward?
Ersan Ilyasova would be an upgrade at the small forward position over Ron Artest. He is younger and, likely has more productive years ahead of him than Artest.
Last season with the Milwaukee Bucks, Ilyasova averaged nine points and six rebounds.
The Charlotte Bobcats drafted Kemba Walker last week with the ninth overall selection in the Draft. Does the team plan on starting him? Or, do they want him to backup D.J Augustin?
If they are planning on making Walker their starter, Augustin could be a legitimate trade target for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Given Derek Fisher’s age, and Steve Blake’s inconsistent first season in Los Angeles, Augustin would be an upgrade at the point guard position.
It would also give the Lakers more flexibility in molding Darius Morris, their draft pick out of Michigan.
In his third NBA season, Augustin averaged 14 points, six assists and 33 minutes. All of which were career highs.
After averaging 29 minutes as a rookie, Jonny Flynn’s average fell to 18 minutes a game last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
On the night of the Draft, Flynn was traded to the Houston Rockets.
Considering the Rockets have both Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic, Houston may be willing to trade Flynn themselves.
Jonny Flynn is anything but a sure deal at the point guard position, but I think the Lakers wouldn’t be crazy to take a shot with him. If there is one position the Lakers need to shake things up it’s at point guard.
After selecting Kyrie Irving with the first overall draft pick in last week, the Cleveland Cavaliers hope they have their point guard for the next decade.
Last season with the Cavaliers, Ramon Sessions spent time as both a starter and backup, averaging 13 points and five assists in 26 minutes.
Considering the Cavs now have Kyrie Irving and Baron Davis, they would likely be more willing to listen to offers for Sessions.
The only question I have about Sessions playing in Los Angeles is the spotlight. Sessions has spent his career playing for cellar dwellers (Milwaukee, Minnesota and Cleveland). How would he perform under the bright lights of Hollywood?
Wouldn’t the Purple and Gold of the Los Angeles Lakers’ uniforms blend perfectly with all of Chris Andersen’s tattoos?
The Lakers also need a backup big man. In the midst of fans worrying about the team’s point guard woes and lack of athleticism, their lack of depth at backup center is often overlooked.
The past two seasons the Lakers have had combinations of D.J. Mbenga, Josh Powell, Theo Ratliff, Joe Smith and Derrick Caracter to man the ship if something happened to Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum.
These players were largely unproductive. Whether it was due to playing ability, age or inexperience.
If Andersen was willing to take a cut in minutes, he would offer peace of mind for the organization and fans, backing up Gasol and Bynum.
The past three seasons with the Denver Nuggets, Andersen has averaged nearly two blocks a game and five rebounds, playing 20 minutes a game.