For Darius Garland, the Lakers may trade Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura.

The Los Angeles Lakers may consider paying a high price to get a disgruntled guard in Cleveland in order to add a third star.

The Los Angeles Lakers are actively searching the trade market for an All-Star-caliber player to address their guard problems. Point guard Darius Garland of the Cavaliers, who sees Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura going to Cleveland, may be a plausible trade target for the Lakers, according to ESPN insider Bobby Marks. “A deal involving Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura of the Los Angeles Lakers might make sense if the Cavaliers decide to make Garland available. In the event that the Cavaliers decide to move Allen, Hachimura provides depth in the frontcourt while Reaves’ shooting abilities would compliment Mitchell.” This season, Garland averaged 18.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 6.5 assists while finding it difficult to have a productive backcourt partnership with Donovan Mitchell. It’s been rumored that the Cavaliers will look to split Garland and Mitchell up this summer if they get a long-term commitment from Mitchell, who is a free agent at the end of next season.

This season, Reaves averaged 15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 5.5 assists, demonstrating his versatility as a go-to combo guard who can change up his play when called upon. Rui Hachimura finished the year with an average of 13.6 points and 4.3 rebounds after seeing a late-season surge. The Lakers should exercise caution before trading their starting lineup for another top-heavy team that is sure to fail because both players were starters during their playoff run.

How Would a Trade Appear?

Though it’s unlikely, the Cavaliers will push for a draft pick even if they let Garland go for two rotational players. The quality of players in the transaction, combined with Garland’s depleted stock, may cause the Lakers to walk away from this deal with a few future tradeable assets.

Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves, 2030 First-Round Pick Swap, 2025 Second-Round Pick (LAL) are received by the Cleveland Cavaliers.


Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Darius Garland

This is not a deal I would accept if I were the Lakers. The Western Conference Finals are demonstrating that successful teams require depth on their roster. Due to insufficient depth on their roster from the previous season to this one, even the formidable Nuggets were unable to continue their quest for a repeat performance.

Garland is a marginal All-Star point guard who performs best when the offense centers around him. I fail to understand what the Lakers get out of this trade because he’s a total liability on defense as well. Although Reaves and Hachimura are not as talented as they could be, they nevertheless play vital roles in this team. Garland is currently unable to bring what either can offer. Any of these agreements seem like a step backward unless the Lakers are obtaining a third star on par with Donovan Mitchell. When they last attempted to run a big three, they were unable to make it to the Playoffs. In 2023, they will salvage their season by adding depth to the trade market.

Any trade that requires them to give up their starters for one player—like Mitchell—will increase the level of uncertainty around the competition for the upcoming campaign if they are able to sign him as a true All-NBA player.

Written by schooleiwa

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