LeBron James' former teammate could land in Cleveland in potential Darius Garland trade: Report

Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Seven
Darius Garland could be traded to New Orleans in Brandon Ingram trade

Darius Garland could be on his way out of Cleveland next season. The Cleveland Cavaliers have been unable to capitalize on his pairing with Donovan Mitchell and it appears like the team might look in another direction to make the most of their young core.

According to Christian Clark from NOLA.com, there's trade talk involving Garland and LeBron James' former teammate, Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Ingram plays forward and has been the best passer for the Pelicans over the last two seasons. The problem with their roster is clear: they need a guard who can create shots for teammates, so landing Garland would be handy for the Pelicans.

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On the other hand, the Cavaliers have struggled with guards Darius Garland and Mitchell. Having Ingram and Mitchell together could give them length and a high-scoring player.

Moreover, New Orleans also has a big decision to make. Ingram will enter the last year of his contract next season and is eligible for a max extension in the 2025-26 season. This year, he'll make $36 million as per spotrac.com. Trading Ingram would free up cap space to bring in good role players.

Should the Lakers pursue Darius Garland?

The LA Lakers have a big decision to make this offseason after exiting in the first round of the playoffs. Before entering the 2023-24 postseason, the Lakers were one of the best teams in the league on both ends of the floor. However, the postseason brought numerous issues that require attention.

One option for LA is to address the D'Angelo Russell situation. Given Russell's struggles on both ends of the floor, Darius Garland could be a potential solution for the team. Unlike Russell, Garland is quick on his feet and can be coached into a good perimeter defender.

Moreover, despite having a rough shooting spree in the playoffs, Garland has proved that he can score better than Russell. Garland averaged 15.7 points per game while he shot 42.7% from the field and 35.2% from the three-point line in 12 games. On the other hand, Russell averaged only 14.2 points per game while shooting 38.2% from the field and 31.8% from beyond the arc.

Although the trade may seem good for the Lakers, Darius Garland’s salary can be a big impediment. While Russell would only make $18 million next year, Garland will make $36 million as per spotrac.com.

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