Los Angeles Lakers: 3 Realistic trade deadline targets to cement contender status

The Los Angeles Lakers may need to make a sizable move at the NBA Trade Deadline if they wish to emerge as serious championship contenders.

Who can the Lakers acquire to help James and Davis?
Who can the Lakers acquire to help James and Davis? / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors

One player Rob Pelinka could target who could change the entire dynamic of the team is Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. He can guard bigs and is capable of switching onto any perimeter player. He also knows how to play his role and has championship experience. The Lakers lack wings who can shoot, rebound and defend adequately but Siakam can do it all.

Siakam is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and can also provide a bit of extra scoring if needed. Siakam was a complimentary piece on the Raptors 2019 title-winning squad so any chemistry with Davis and LeBron James should flow naturally.

The Raptors may be willing to part ways with Siakam based on the fact that he is in a contract year and will be looking for a super-max deal in the offseason. By the Raptors being a small market team, giving Siakam a super-max could drastically affect the Raptors' cap flexibility. The Raptors also have hinted towards handing the keys to the franchise over to second-year player and 2023 Rookie of the Year winner Scottie Barnes and more than likely the Raptors are setting themselves up to build around him, therefore making Siakam expendable.

It would be very risky for the Raptors to keep Siakam past the deadline considering the uncertainty of his impeding free agency. The Raptors appear to be headed to the play-in tournament at best unless they drastically improve. The more they lose, the more likely Siakam will be traded. Given his age and current contract status, Siakam is the only asset the Raptors have who would net back a decent return. It just depends on how badly the Lakers want him and what they would be willing to give up without depleting their roster.

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Siakam is a difficult cover for most opposing teams due to his versatility on both ends of the floor and coaches have tried different strategies in an attempt to minimize his impact. Pairing Siakam with Davis and James could be a brilliant move and could very well shift the balance of power in the Western Conference.