“One player whose future is very unlikely to continue with the Lakers is Julius Randle, their third year forward. Rob Pelinka, their general manager, and Magic Johnson, their president, will be faced with this question. Do they look to trade Randle between now and the February trade deadline and get back potentially a first-round draft pick for him, or do they roll the dice and wait until summer when he’s a restricted free agent.”
These are the words from Adrian Wojnarowski spoken on NBA Countdown about Julius Randle. For such a young and promising player this is very unusual, but the Lakers are an unusual team, as they believe they could be competing for an NBA championship in just one short year.
Let’s say the Lakers make a move. Who should be interested, and what can they give up in return for Randle?
Julius Randle to the Brooklyn Nets
Lakers Recieve: Trevor Booker
Nets Recieve: Julius Randle, Corey Brewer
This makes too much sense. The Lakers get the one-year deal they’re looking for in Trevor Booker and are only forced to throw Corey Brewer into the deal to makes the salaries compatible (who is also on a one-year deal so it doesn’t affect the Nets negatively). Not to mention that D’Angelo Russel and Julius Randle are reuniting, as they are reported as to still having a close relationship to this day. The Nets could make a low-risk, high-reward move if they make a trade similarly to this.
Julius Randle to the Portland Trail Blazers
Lakers Recieve: Ed Davis, 2021 First Round Pick
Trail Blazers Recieve: Julius Randle
While this may be the most realistic of all of the moves, it’s the least entertaining. The Blazers take Randle as a rental, as they would most likely not have the cap space to resign him this upcoming offseason. Basically, the Blazers are risking a future first round pick for the chance that Randle impresses enough for them to resign him.
Julius Randle to the Washington Wizards
Lakers Recieve: Chris McCullough (Wizards), Sheldon Mac (Wizards), 2020 First Round Pick (Wizards)
Wizards Recieve: Julius Randle (Lakers)
Suns Recieve: Jason Smith (Wizards), 2018 Second Round Pick (Wizards)
Of all of the moves, this was my favorite to orchestrate. With the Cavs on the downhill fast, the Wizards could potentially be looking to make a big move at the deadline for a player to help them out; but with their contract situation, most guys would bring them far over the cap. Randle is perfect, both financially and physically. The Suns take another bad contract who could pretty easily be released in return for yet another draft pick to accelerate their rebuild. Also, Sheldon Mac and Chris McCullough just seem like the type of players to be reserves for the Lakers (not sure why; they just give me that vibe)
Julius Randle to the Dallas Mavericks
Lakers Recieve: Josh McRoberts, Devin Harris
Mavericks Recieve: Julius Randle, Luol Deng, 2020 First Round Pick
One of the Lakers’ greatest regrets was signing Luol Deng to that massive contract in the last offseason. Luckily for them, they could dump him pretty easily. All they have to do is trade one of their young stars and a first-round pick essentially for nothing. It’s unfortunate, but it would help the Lakers a lot more than it would hurt them. Having Randle would also be great security for the Mavericks, who have struggled with young big men in the past like Nerlens Noel and Dwight Powell. Randle could hopefully be the successor to Dirk that they’ve been desperately looking for.