The Lakers currently have a great problem. They currently have three deserving players to play one position. With break out rookie Kyle Kuzma now in the starting lineup, the Lakers have to make a decision whether to keep both Larry Nance Jr. and Julius Randle on their rebuilding squad. I believe the Lakers should keep Nance Jr for two reasons. Firstly, Nance Jr. fits the style of play being created in L.A. Secondly the Lakers could demand more for Randle than Nance Jr. Here are three teams that should trade for Randle.
3. Detroit Pistons
While the Pistons have a ton of guard play, they are weak in the front court. Andre Drummond has averaged 14.1 points and 15 rebounds per game. Yet the second leading rebounder is Tobias Harris at just 5.3. Detroit should look to acquire Randle, perhaps including Avery Bradley in the deal. Bradley is a great two-way player and with him likely leaving in free agency, getting Randle would be great for the long term.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
This all depends on if the Thunder would trade Paul George to ensure they don’t lose him for nothing. Oklahoma City remembers what it’s like to lose a star forward for nothing after all I must say the Thunder are playing their best ball and are looking more and more like a threat in the West. Yet if GM Sam Presti would rather not be safe than sorry, acquiring both Randle and Jordan Clarkson along with picks would be smart.
1. New Orleans Pelicans
This makes the most sense for Randle. Pairing Randle up with Anthony Davis will keep the Pelicans frontcourt scary. The Lakers have reportedly reached out about a Demarcus Cousins trade and like the Thunder, the Pelicans could make a move before Cousins walks for nothing. If they can trade for a package such as Randle and Clarkson, that would help in the loss of Cousins. Randle is a formidable player averaging 13.2 points and near seven boards under limited minutes.
It should be noted that both the Thunder and Pelicans interest would rely on if they are willing to part ways with their stars, who will be free agents this offseason. Instead of losing stars for nothing, getting something in return should be valued. Though stars like George and Cousins would demand more talent, Randle should be a part of the package. In Randle’s case, getting a player of his talent brings a ton of value to a franchise.