Lakers Trade Rumors: Latest on Bradley Beal, Lonzo Ball, Kuzma, Brandon Ingram

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 26: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards talk after a game on March 26, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

As the Los Angeles Lakers prepare for an important offseason, an NBA general manager believes Rob Pelinka and Co. could have the pieces to pry All-Star guard Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards.

Namely Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart. The GM said those four players have greater upside and potential than it may seem in the shadow of LeBron James.

"That's what they look like in that environment—and playing with that guy [James]," the GM told NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig.

According to one source, a package consisting of Ingram, Kuzma and the Lakers' first-round pick (fourth overall) would be fair for Beal.

Los Angeles missed out on the postseason for the sixth consecutive season by going 37-45 in 2018-19. As a result, the main focus will be on trying to add a co-star to play alongside James, whether it be via trade (such as Beal or Anthony Davis) or free agency (such as Kyrie Irving or Kawhi Leonard).

As five-time All-Star John Wall was limited to 32 games this past season, Beal upped his game. The 25-year-old earned his second consecutive All-Star selection by averaging a career-high 25.6 points per game on 47.5 percent shooting.

One GM, though, believes Beal should not be viewed as an alternative to Davis on the trade market, per Standig: "As good as Bradley Beal is, he isn't Anthony Davis. Beal isn't an alternative to Davis, but to free agency."

While Davis may be the top target, Beal may be a more realistic option—especially after the Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans' trade deadline disaster.

Kuzma has emerged as arguably Los Angeles' top trade asset in terms of young players. The 23-year-old took a step forward in 2018-19, averaging 18.7 points on 45.6 percent shooting while adding 5.5 rebounds per game.

Meanwhile, Ingram has continued to improve since being taken second overall in 2016. He averaged a career-high 18.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season, though his season was cut short in March after he was diagnosed with deep venous thrombosis in his right arm. That medical concern could impact his trade value.

Ball has gotten off to a solid start to his career, averaging 10.0 points, 6.4 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game since being taken No. 2 overall in 2017. However, his trade value has been limited by his inability to stay healthy. He has averaged just 49.5 games through his first two seasons, missing 35 games in 2018-19 as he was hampered by an ankle injury. 

And of course, LaVar Ball's tendency to make headlines with his bold statements can't be ignored. Still, the source, according to Standig, believes Lonzo is an attractive trade asset: "People just don't grasp how good he is."

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