NBA Rumors: Proposed Three-Way Trade Forms Lakers' 'Big 3' Of Bradley Beal, LeBron James & Anthony Davis

Bradley Beal holding a ball
Wikimedia | Superbia23

JB Baruelo

The Los Angeles Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook last summer with the hope that pairing him with LeBron James and Anthony Davis would give them a better chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the NBA championship title this season. Unfortunately, things didn't go as the Lakers expected. Despite forming their own "Big Three," the Lakers still failed to reclaim their throne and even missed the 2022 NBA Playoffs.

With his underwhelming performance and struggle to make himself fit with James and Davis, the Lakers are highly expected to get rid of Westbrook and find a new third star who would help them carry the team in the 2022-23 NBA season.

Dream Trade Target - Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal taking a free throw
Wikimedia | Rashinseita

One of the dream trade targets for the Lakers in the upcoming offseason is All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards. The Lakers have Beal on their radar since the 2021 NBA offseason. Before they traded for Westbrook last summer, Bill Oram, Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic revealed that the Lakers were finding a way to pair Beal with James and Davis.

The Wizards may have said on numerous occasions that they have no intention of trading Beal and undergoing a full-scale rebuild but if they fail to build a title contender around him this summer, most people believe that the All-Star shooting guard will strongly consider finding his way out of Washington.

Proposed Three-Team Trade

Bradley Beal shaking the hands of opponents
Wikimedia | Tagstt

Despite their limited trade assets, the Lakers are expected to do everything they can to acquire Beal should he and the Wizards decide to part ways this summer. In a recent article, James Piercey of NBA Analysis Network came up with a hypothetical three-team blockbuster trade idea that would create the Lakers' "Big 3" of Beal, James, and Davis next season. In the proposed trade scenario, the Lakers would get Beal, the Wizards would receive Gordon Hayward, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kai Jones, James Bouknight, and a 2027 first-round pick, while the Hornets would obtain Russell Westbrook.

Lakers Become Title Favorites Again

Bradley Beal standing at the free throw line
Wikimedia | Shakeydeal33

The proposed three-way deal only has a minimal chance of happening but if it becomes a reality, it would undoubtedly strengthen the Lakers' chances of returning to the NBA Finals and capturing the Larry O'Brien Trophy next season. Beal would give the Lakers a legitimate third star who would be an ideal fit with James and Davis. Compared to Westbrook, Beal is a much better three-point shooter and capable of excelling in an off-ball capacity.

If the "Big 3" of Beal, James, and Davis can build good chemistry and stay healthy throughout the season, the Lakers would be a nightmare team to face in a best-of-seven series.

Why Wizards & Hornets Would Make The Trade

Russell Westbrook playing for the Lakers
Wikimedia | Denniscabrams

The hypothetical three-team blockbuster won't only be beneficial for the Lakers, but also for the Wizards and the Hornets. For the Wizards, the suggested deal would enable them to get something in return for Beal instead of losing him as a free agent without getting anything in return. In exchange for Beal, the Wizards would be acquiring three young and promising players that they could develop in Horton-Tucker, Bouknight, and Jones and a future first-round pick that could use to add another talented prospect to their roster.

For the Hornets, the proposed trade is more about obtaining financial flexibility. By swapping the two-years left on Hayward's contract for Westbrook's expiring deal, it would be easier for the Hornets to give Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball huge paydays to keep them long-term in Charlotte.