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Lakers Rumors: Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal Named Dream Trade Targets

Doric SamDecember 17, 2022

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) loses the ball while defended by Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

The Los Angeles Lakers are believed to be interested in pursuing trades in hopes of improving their mediocre roster this season, and the team reportedly has some astronomical aspirations.

According to The Athletic's Jovan Buha on Saturday, the Lakers (12-16) have their eyes set on three superstar players as dream trade targets.

"In the ultimate pie-in-the-sky scenario, the Lakers have interest in Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal if any of the three stars were to become available," Buha wrote.

However, Lillard can't be traded until July 9 because he signed a two-year max extension with the Porland Trail Blazers (16-13) this past offseason.

On Dec. 15, players who signed free-agent contracts became eligible to be traded this season. Per Buha, the 74 additional players in the trade pool means "approximately 89 percent" of the league is able to be included in deals going forward.

Durant sent shockwaves through the NBA over the summer when he reportedly requested to be traded away from the Brooklyn Nets.

The 12-time All-Star ultimately decided to move forward with Brooklyn this season, and his decision is starting to pay off. The Nets (18-12) have won five straight games and nine of their last 10 to move up to fourth place in the Eastern Conference. It's unlikely they will be looking to trade Durant any time soon, as he leads the team with 29.9 points per game.

Beal has once again struggled to stay healthy this year and hasn't played since Dec. 4 because of a lingering hamstring injury. In his 18 appearances, he's averaged 22.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists. The Wizards have not been able to put things together this year at 11-18, and they might be willing to move on from their star shooting guard for the right price.

Buha named DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Kuzma, Myles Turner, Buddy Hield, Kyrie Irving and Doug McDermott as other players who have been linked to the Lakers in trade discussions. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported earlier this week that Los Angeles has also had talks about Bojan Bogdanović of the Detroit Pistons, as well as Evan Fournier and Cam Reddish of the New York Knicks.

It would appear that any of those players would be more realistic pursuits than Durant, Beal or Lillard.