Have the Los Angeles Lakers found their ideal trade partner?

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

At this point in the 2022-23 NBA season, no two teams have been mentioned in more trade rumors than the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.

After making some minor tweaks to their roster this offseason while mainly keeping their core intact, the Lakers have struggled. They currently sit at 12-16 on the season, and although they have shown signs of promise, they have struggled to put all of the pieces together. It is fair that they have been scanning the trade market for potential reinforcements for a playoff push.

Meanwhile, the Knicks have found some consistency lately after a rocky start to the season and currently occupy the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. At 16-13, they find themselves on the positive end of things, and they could look to add some more talent to strengthen their roster in the coming months. With a legitimate shot at the postseason, they would be wise to do so.

For the Lakers, the target they seem captivated by the most right now is Bojan Bogdanovic of the Detroit Pistons. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania (subscription required), the Lakers have had conversations in recent weeks about landing the forward. While Bogdanovic would be a great fit with the Lakers as they hunt for more shooting, Charania also reported that Detroit has expressed a reluctance to let Bogdanovic go at this time.

With a Bogdanovic trade off the table, for now, the Lakers could turn their attention to the Knicks, who also have some compelling targets. As mentioned in the same report from Charania, LA has had talks with New York regarding Evan Fournier and Cam Reddish. The tandem has been booted from New York’s rotation lately, and it has been made clear that they are available for trade.

The New York Knicks have players the Los Angeles Lakers have an interest in

Over the last few months, any trade talks surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers involved moving on from Russell Westbrook. However, with Westbrook playing well in a new bench role, it seems that he is destined to stick around for the time being. The Lakers seem more inclined to make a deal to bring in role players around LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. With that said, Evan Fournier and Cam Reddish would make sense as targets.

Throughout his ongoing 10-year career, Fournier has made a living with his scoring and shooting, having averaged 14.2 points per game while shooting 38 percent from long range. Both of those attributes make Fournier a desirable target for the Lakers. The 30-year-old would fit in seamlessly in Los Angeles while serving as a complementary piece offensively to the trio of James, Davis, and Westbrook. Playing with those three, Fournier would get plenty of open looks and opportunities on that side of the ball, and having a player with his capabilities could go a long way for LA.

While Reddish does not possess the same scoring and marksmanship as Fournier, his desirability is also easy to understand from LA’s perspective. First and foremost, at 23 years old, Reddish is a young piece filled with potential, which is something the Lakers could use. On the floor, Reddish has shown that he has the tools to be a solid defender. At 6-foot-8, he would give the Lakers an incredibly versatile wing to strengthen their efforts on that end. His offense has been hit or miss throughout his career, but Reddish has shown glimpses of being a legitimate threat on that end in the past. The biggest questions revolve around his ability to shoot the long ball, something that he would be asked to do consistently in LA.

LA’s interest in both players is feasible, and given the market, they could be the team’s likeliest trade targets at this time.

Are the New York Knicks the Los Angeles Lakers’ likeliest trade partner?

Given that the Los Angeles Lakers have been actively seeking roster upgrades as of late and the New York Knicks seem inclined to move on from Evan Fournier and Reddish, the two seem like a perfect match for one another.

With the combined salaries of Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, and Damion Jones, LA would have $18.3 million worth of salary to send out. That would be enough to allow them to absorb the $24 million between Fournier and Reddish. What kind of draft picks would be involved in this deal is a different story, but the main framework is there. The Lakers should be motivated to make a move, and while Fournier and Reddish are not superstar names, the pair could certainly make an impact in LA’s rotation if given a chance.

Next. NBA News: Is a Lakers trade imminent? Anthony Davis' injury. dark

If the Lakers are looking to make a trade while keeping their Big 3 intact, this could be the one that is among the most realistic at this point in time. If the Lakers were to make a trade today, it seems like the Knicks would be on the other end.