The Kemba Walker to the Lakers trade ideas have already started

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As is typically the case when an All-Star hits the trade block, the Los Angeles Lakers have been mentioned by a major analyst discussing the latest NBA blockbuster.

The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears appeared on ESPN’s The Jump to talk about the Oklahoma City Thunder trade with the Boston Celtics. OKC received Kemba Walker and a first-round pick in exchange for Al Horford and Moses Brown. Second-round picks were also flipped in the deal.

Like many, Spears doesn’t see Walker’s fit in Oklahoma City. The Thunder have several guards to evaluate, the chance to land a potential star guard in the 2021 NBA draft, and no particular desire to compete. Walker affects each of those.

So where else to send him but to the Lakers?

“If I’m the Lakers, why not try to go after Kemba? Spears said. “To me it makes a lot of sense. Kuzma already looks like he’s on his way out.”

This takes a few assumptions:

One is that Oklahoma City wants Kyle Kuzma. He’s set to begin a three-year extension that pays $13 million. Maybe the Thunder do want him, maybe they don’t, but Kuzma will be 26 in July and Oklahoma City already has younger and cheaper players at his position. The fit might not be there.

MORE: Every future Thunder draft pick

Another is that the Lakers have and are willing to give up enough players to match Walkers’ contract. They have seven players under contract in 2021-22, according to Basketball Ref: Two are LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who are not getting moved. One is Montrezl Harrell, who has a player option and would probably prefer to test the free agency waters than to join the Thunder. Two are Marc Gasol and Alfonzo McKinnie, who are paid a combined $4.5 million.

That leaves Kyle Kuzma ($13 million) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($13 million). Those contracts plus that of Gasol and McKinnie still aren’t enough. Harrell would have to decline his option or be traded for the Lakers to have space.

Would the Thunder take those four players in hopes of flipping Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope for assets?

Would the Lakers be OK committing $112 million to James, Davis and Walker and then building the rest of the roster around them?

And if LA would do that, why did OKC have to act as the middleman? The Celtics could have pulled off a three-team trade.

Like the Kyle Lowry trade rumors during this past season, it’s a tough to imagine the Lakers being a real player in the Walker sweepstakes.

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