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Los Angeles Lakers trade rumors took an interesting turn on Wednesday (December 18). During the latest episode of "SportsCenter" on ESPN, Lakers reporter Dave McMenamin hinted at the team possibly trying to acquire Damian Lillard. The segment started out by addressing Lakers trade rumors about Anthony Davis, but Lillard's name was brought up as the segment progressed.

According to McMenamin, the Lakers have to retain assets in order to go after Davis, Lillard, or another elite player to team up with LeBron James.

It might also be a reason that the team balked when trying to acquire Trevor Ariza earlier this season. Ariza ended up getting traded to the Washington Wizards, helping that team improve for a push toward the postseason.

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While the Lakers wanted Ariza [VIDEO], it appears the price was just too high.

A Lillard trade could really help Lakers

After this season, Damian Lillard still has two more years left on his contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. That raises the value of trading for him, meaning the Blazers would expect a lot in return for Lillard. That's even assuming that the Blazers would ever trade the most important and popular player on the roster. Dealing Lillard, during what might be the best years of his career, might be a step in the wrong direction for the franchise.

Looking at it from the Lakers' perspective, adding Lillard to a team that includes LeBron James and the possibility of another star player could be pretty good. But would that also mean that Lonzo Ball has to be traded? And would sacrificing the entire young core of the franchise be a good move in order to acquire Lillard? Those are some tough questions, but the Lakers may have some desperation, as a franchise, to finally get back to the postseason.

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More Lakers trade rumors about Anthony Davis

One of the main reasons that Anthony Davis keeps coming up is that he can opt out of his current contract during the NBA offseason. That would make him a free agent who could then sign with a team of his choice. That might convince the New Orleans Pelicans that it is time to deal the star player before the 2019 NBA trade deadline this winter. Getting back a lot of assets for him could be the only way to ensure success in the post-Davis era.

Heading toward the games on December 18, the Lakers have an 18-12 record, while the Blazers are at 17-13 on the season. If nothing changes in the NBA standings, the teams would face in the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs. It would also stand to reason that the Blazers aren't trading Damian Lillard during a season they are trying to be contenders. That might change in the offseason, though, especially if the Blazers get knocked out in the first round.

Can the Lakers keep up the success that has them knocking on the door of the postseason [VIDEO]? Or does the team need to make more moves in order to be competitive with teams like the Golden State Warriors? Fans should stay tuned because there are going to be a lot of additional Los Angeles Lakers trade rumors over the next few weeks.