Why a Lakers trade for a third star won’t be so easy for the franchise

Editor’s note: This is the Thursday, July 30 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter from reporter Kyle Goon. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.

There’s a natural assumption in the NBA, backed by decades of evidence: Where there is a disgruntled star, the Lakers remain positioned in the wings, ready to swoop in and snatch him.

From Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Shaquille O’Neal to Anthony Davis, it’s understandable that fans could stray toward overconfidence when it comes to raking in talent, and recent trades such as James Harden to Brooklyn might make it seem as though the ground is fertile for more. Now with Ben Simmons on shaky ground in Philadelphia following a second-round playoff exit, and Damian Lillard seemingly bristling after a coaching hire gone sideways, it seems on the surface as if the Lakers could wheel-and-deal their way to a third star to put alongside Davis and LeBron James.

The question that kills this dream is a simple one: How?

The Lakers might have the pull of Southern California and rich basketball history in free agency, but when it comes to pulling off blockbuster trades, every team needs assets. And the Lakers simply don’t have that many right now.

Peek inside the Lakers’ war chest: The Lakers have the No. 22 first-round draft pick this season and a first-round pick in 2027 (and truly, who knows how good or bad the Lakers will be…

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