Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
The 2019 NBA offseason is going to be a pivotal one for the Los Angeles Lakers—perhaps even more so than the 2018 equivalent.
Yes, that was when the Lakers added LeBron James. However, as this past year has shown, not even James can lift Los Angeles into the top tier of Western Conference teams by himself. The Lakers likely would have been a playoff team if James hadn’t missed significant time with a groin injury—they were fourth in the conference when he went down—but it will take a couple more significant pieces to make L.A. a legit contender.
This is why the 2019 offseason—and the coinciding quest for those pieces—is so important.
Armed with the fourth overall pick in the draft and some intriguing young players, the Lakers have options. Trading for a top-tier talent like the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis is ideal, but that is far from the only option.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest Lakers buzz as the offseason draws nearer.
Lonzo Ball and Bradley Beal
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press
The list of aforementioned young players includes Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma. Ball, in particular, appears to be a player the Lakers could leverage in a trade.
“People just don’t grasp how good he is,” an unnamed source said of Ball, per Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington.
By moving Ball, the Lakers could add a player like Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
Washington could move Beal, who has been linked to Los Angeles. According to Standig, Ball is the player the Wizards would want in return for him. But why would the Lakers want to give up a promising young player for a guy the Wizards are willing to deal?
The first reason is that Beal is a fairly consistent sh