- There are a lot of possible Lakers trade targets
- The trade deadline is on March 25th
- Which veterans could the Lakers pursue before the deadline?
Who would have thought that the Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns will have better records than the two Los Angeles teams at this point of the season? Of course, the Lakers have been missing Anthony Davis‘ services for 11 straight contests now, a disappointing span of games that saw them lost four straight at one point.
The Lakers’ current injury report includes Davis (Achilles), Alex Caruso (concussion protocol), Jared Dudley (torn MCL), and Marc Gasol (health and safety protocols). Of course, the Lakers will be in formidable strength once Davis returns, but this recent string of injuries on their roster just indicates that the defending champs might need more outside help.
As the March 25th NBA trade deadline nears, here are three quality veterans that the Lakers could trade for in an effort to field in a more versatile roster come playoff time.
The 35-year old P.J. Tucker is putting up a career-low season in terms of shooting percentages. He is only producing a measly 31% clip from the three-point line for the Houston Rockets this season.
But the thing is that the potential of playing with Davis and LeBron James will get him better looks, especially in his favorite corner triple spot. The Lakers will benefit from Tucker’s elite versatility on the defensive end.
LeBron: “Let’s be honest, if you go back and re-do the draft from last year, Talen Horton-Tucker would not go in the second round. We were super-duper lucky and blessed to grab him."
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) March 17, 2021
The question now lies on how the Lakers will build their package without including Talen Horton-Tucker. Horton-Tucker could be a valuable trade asset for the Lakers, but moving him to get Tucker will be risky. The Rockets vet’s contract is already expiring after this season, so what if he decides to sign with another team in the offseason?
Still, a possible Tucker-Rockets buyout agreement will be the best scenario for the Lakers in acquiring the grizzled veteran.
It’s almost a sure thing that Wayne Ellington will be moved either before the trade or the buyout deadline. He signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Pistons last offseason in hopes of boosting the team’s slim chances of booking a playoff ticket.
But with the Pistons recently buying out Blake Griffin‘s contract, Ellington should be the next in line to be moved. The veteran sharpshooter is easily one of the most efficient shooters in the league right now as he is producing a stellar 42% clip from beyond the arc.
With Wesley Matthews struggling with his shooting for the Lakers this season, it’s a good time to bring in another proven gunner that will come at a very affordable price tag for the defending champs.
This could be a head-scratcher for some Lakers fans, but the Dwight Howard acquisition last year also came with mixed reactions. In the limited minutes of 14.6 that Hassan Whiteside is logging in for the Sacramento Kings, he is already tallying 8.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game.
If the Lakers aren’t able to land Andre Drummond, their focus would move to acquiring Hassan Whiteside, via @ChrisBHaynes.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) March 15, 2021
The Lakers will offer him short bursts of minutes in the rotations, and probably a bigger share of playing time when a key frontcourt player goes down with an injury. Either way, Whiteside should do the work in gobbling up the rebounds, although the Lakers might have to take into consideration his lapses in positioning himself on the team’s defensive schemes.
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