One Trade Lakers Should Consider!

Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Al-Farouq Aminu

Orlando Magic Receive: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Talen Horton-Tucker

The Lakers already cashed in their best trade chips in the Anthony Davis deal. Kyle Kuzma is still around, but if they didn’t want to trade him for Davis, he could be effectively off-limits.

With only Talen Horton-Tucker—a raw but intriguing 18-year-old—to sweeten the pot, L.A.’s budget is limited. But if it packages Horton-Tucker with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, that could be enough to land Al-Farouq Aminu, a multipositional defender who’s been a full-time starter for the West’s No. 3 seed each of the past two seasons.

His offense is as low-maintenance as it gets. As long as his three-ball is falling (36-plus percent two of the past four seasons), he can pull a defender out to the perimeter or punish those who leave him alone as a spot-up shooter.

But the defensive end is where he cashes his checks—and would increase the Lakers’ championship chances. He can lock up at least three positions and handle switches on all five. That versatility could be critical in helping L.A. manage some potentially massive closing groups. Get him out there with Davis, Kuzma, LeBron James and Danny Green, and the Lakers would be loaded with size and athleticism.

Aminu would make his mark as a hustler, much like he did alongside Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum on the Portland Trail Blazers. Aminu’s willingness to do the dirty work would allow James, Davis and Kuzma to bring their best at basketball’s more glamorous end.

For Orlando, which just inked Aminu to a three-year deal, this swap would better balance its jumbo-size roster and possibly brighten the future with Horton-Tucker. The Magic could use Caldwell-Pope to bulk up their wing rotation, or they can flip him to a team closer to contention in exchange for a pick or prospect.