Friday, December 23, 2022

Lakers suggested trade flips guard for fan favorite Big Man

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The Los Angeles Lakers might not be a blockbuster this season, but a smaller planned move could earn the roster some extra shooting, along with a monster at center in Boban Marjanović.

The move proposed by Bleacher Report would flip Kendrick Nunn and a second-round pick to Houston to shoot Garrison Mathews and Marjanović. Here’s what B/R had to say about a potential deal.

Matthews isn’t a household name but could be another reliable shooter off the bench for the Lakers, who need every spark they can get on the offensive end of the floor.

Marjanović is a fan favorite wherever he lands due to his gregarious nature. The 7-foot-3 tall man has bounced around the league in recent seasons, playing for the Clippers, Sixers, Mavericks and now Houston. He hasn’t seen much of the court for the Rockets, averaging just 3.2 minutes, 1.2 points and a single rebound. He has career averages of 5.9 points and 3.8 rebounds.

Nunn hasn’t had the smoothest start to the season with the Lakers after missing all of last year with a knee injury. He’s averaging 13.9 minutes per game and 5.6 points while shooting a career-low 36% from the field.

It looked inevitable early on that the Lakers would strike a deal with Russell Westbrook, but the former MVP has emerged from the bench, averaging 15.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 7.2 assists and after one miserable start to the year also improved his shooting rates.

But the sticking point in a deal for the Lakers was more their first-round picks, which they were cautious about. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his podcast – The Hoop Collective – that the Lakers are still assessing the trade market, but mid-December is their timeline to eye a deal.

“What they think is realistic is to play .500 ball by December 15, when deals might open in the league, because then contracts signed last summer can be traded,” Windhorst said. “And then maybe in late December to mid-January you can finally do that mythical draft pick trade that’s been talked about for months and months and months and make that an extra boost to the kind of basketball that you’re already doing, You have already noticed.”

The Lakers are expected to have LeBron James back in the lineup on Friday after going 3-2 without him in the lineup. James, 37, suffered from a groin injury and also struggled with a sore foot that forced him to miss a game earlier in the season.

Anthony Davis carried the load and then some while James was sidelined. He’s averaged 35.5 points, 18.3 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.3 steals in his last four games, and the Lakers are hoping he can maintain that form when his co-star James joins the lineup returns.

James averages 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game. The Lakers meet the Spurs in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday.

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