This is part eight of my series, where I make the Philadelphia 76ers do a fake trade with every team in the NBA. Today’s trade will be with the Los Angeles Lakers.
How awesome would a Markelle Fultz/Lonzo Ball backcourt be? It would be pretty amazing, and also impossible. The Lakers aren’t trading him. The Lakers also aren’t trading Brandon Ingram, as much as I’d love him on the Sixers.
Loul Deng would be a nice addition for Philadelphia in a vacuum. However, his contract is not ideal to say the least, so a trade involving him makes little sense. Julius Randle would be redundant because the Sixers have Saric. The Sixers don’t need anymore bigs, so Nance Jr, Zubac, and Kuzma are out. Hart has four years left on his rookie deal, so unless Philadelphia wants to trade a first round pick, he’s not an option.
Philadelphia could trade a player to the Lakers for draft assets. In my view, Justin Anderson would be the most expendable piece. I wrote about Anderson here. Anderson has limitations in his game (shooting, and creating offense) that limits his upside. In this hypothetical world where Philadelphia makes a trade with the Lakers, he is the player I move.
Sixers get 2018 2nd Round Pick (DEN), 2019 2nd Round Pick (CHI)
Lakers get Justin Anderson
Why Philadelphia does it: They get two future draft assets for a player who will probably never be anything more than a reserve. It’s not much, but second round picks can be valuable (hello, Richaun Holmes).
Why Los Angeles does it: Justin Anderson is very good in transition. Lonzo Ball, as everyone already knows, is an incredible passer in transition. It’s almost like he has eyes in the back of his head when he makes his passes. Anderson’s ability will be maximized while playing with Ball.
If I could pull off a bigger trade with these two teams, I would’ve. Sadly, that wasn’t realistic. Philadelphia and Los Angeles don’t have the pieces to make a major trade with each other unless a third team is involved. Maybe Los Angeles will be much more open to big trades next summer when they’re in the running for Lebron James.