Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Lakers could trade veteran starters in December: report

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The Los Angeles Lakers could reportedly trade an experienced starter in December.

Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported on November 28 that Patrick Beverley is a “name to watch” in the trade market. The Chicago native is in the last year of his contract.

“The other benefit of waiting until at least December 15 to make a move is that the Lakers can trade players they signed in free agency. One name to keep an eye on is Patrick Beverley, who is the fourth-highest-paid player on the team at $13 million,” Buha wrote. “Beverley is still an elite defender and one of the most vocal leaders of the group, but he’s averaging a career-low 4.1 points per game and shooting a career-worst 23.8 percent at 3s. Beverley, like Kendrick Nunn, could still be valuable for teams looking for help from experienced backcourts. The needs of the Lakers and the abundance of guards make both expendable.”

The Lakers acquired Beverly from the Utah Jazz in August. The 34-year-old is averaging 4.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists this season while shooting 26.6% from the field, 23.8% from beyond the arc and 82.4% from the free throw line .

Beverly makes $13 million this season. He recently lost $268,966 for shoving Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton on November 22nd.

December 15 is the first day free agents signed during the off-season can be traded. It’s also the day the Lakers, who are only 7-12 years old, want to start exploring roster upgrades through trades, according to Buha.

“The Lakers are evaluating the roster to determine if they prefer to make a smaller or larger move to meet the roster’s need for better perimeter shooting and larger size, team sources tell The Athletic,” Buha wrote. “This includes deciding whether to include one or both of their tradable future first-round picks in a deal in 2027 and 2029. The Lakers remain reluctant to give up either unless there’s a trade — or trades if they split the picks into separate deals — that they think will elevate them to contender status.

Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka decided that giving up the team’s 2027 and 2029 first-round picks was too high a price to pay to acquire center Myles Turner and shooting guard Buddy Hield from the Indiana Pacers before training camp started. according to a Nov. 28 report by ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. The proposed trade, which would see Turner and Hield go to the Lakers and Russell Westbrook and draft picks to the Pacers, fell apart as Los Angeles backed down.

McMenamin reported that Lakers dressing room executives share a belief that the team is just a few players away from making the group a legitimate contender. Los Angeles currently has the third-worst record in the Western Conference.

“There’s a belief shared by leaders in the Lakers dressing room, sources said, that the team is just a few players away from making this group a legitimate contender,” McMenamin reported. “But finding the right players could take multiple trades.”

The Lakers missed the playoffs last season. Superstar small forward LeBron James has missed the postseason only once for two consecutive years during his career in the Hall of Fame.

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