The Los Angeles Lakers managed to pull out a win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday. However, they got off to another slow start, and it's fair to wonder if this version of the Lakers is truly championship-caliber.
If Los Angeles doesn't bring home a title in Orlando, it's going to make for a high-pressure offseason. The Lakers have a limited window with the 35-year-old LeBron James, and there's a possibility that they could lose Anthony Davis in free agency.
Davis can opt-out and hit the open market, though, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported in July that the Lakers will likely have no issue giving Davis a max contract extension if he's willing to sign one.
The supporting cast after James and Davis, however, leaves plenty to be desired. This could lead the Lakers to be aggressive on the trade market, as they were with Davis last offseason. The question, of course, is who might be available.
Bogdan Bogdanovic is one player to watch, as Los Angeles showed interest in the Sacramento Kings guard back in January.
"The Kings offered Nemanja Bjelica and a pick to the Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, and Los Angeles countered by asking for Bogdanovic, according to multiple league sources. Sacramento refused," The Ringer's Kevin O'Conner wrote.
Bogdanovic is set to be a restricted free agent in the offseason.
Washington Wizards standout Bradley Beal could also be high on the wish list. Back before the NBA's restart Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium said on the Load Management podcast that the Lakers have had interest in acquiring Beal at various points over the last year.
Beal is scheduled to be a free agent after next season, and the Wizards could be inclined to move him rather than lose him for nothing a year from now. However, the Lakers have few trade assets aside form Kuzma, and it's unlikely that would be enough to pry Beal away from Washington.
In an interesting twist, former Laker Lonzo Ball might be the most realistic trade target at this point. Ball was deal to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Davis deal, Now, Ball could be back on the trading block.
"I’m hearing things around New Orleans that Lonzo may be used as a trading asset in New Orleans," ESPN's Jay Williams said on his radio show.
While the idea of reacquiring Ball may seem strange, he would at least bring some familiarity back to the organization. And with an improved shot—he hit 37.5 percent of his three-point attempts with New Orleans this season—he might be more of a scoring asset than he was previously.
Trading up in the 2020 draft could also be a possibility for the Lakers. According to Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman, "there's an expectation" that teams at the top will be looking to move down.
However, the Lakers are clearly in win-now mode, and it's difficult to envision a rookie prospect putting them over the top within the next calendar year.