Monday, August 8, 2022

NBA executive urges Lakers to target young guard if blockbuster trade falls through

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A Los Angeles Lakers trade for Kyrie Irving no longer looks like a sure thing. The team has essentially stopped building the roster while they weigh their trading options, but there’s now a real possibility that Irving will stay with the Brooklyn Nets. In that case, the Lakers will have to find other ways to improve their roster.

This will not be easy as flexibility and money are limited. The team continues to evaluate Russell Westbrook’s trading options, but is unsure if they will find a suitor. Finding shooters will become the Lakers’ top priority as they need to advance with the former MVP. Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney spoke to a Western Conference executive who believes Los Angeles might want to consider the Utah Jazz as a possible trading partner.

“You have to shoot. If you don’t get Kyrie, you have to shoot. If you get Kyrie, you have to shoot,” the manager said. “So they’re keeping their options open for that. They asked for Eric Gordon but they don’t have the pieces to get him, at least not right now, the Rockets are playing hard with him for some reason. But I think Malik Beasley is the guy they should look at if they can get him out of Utah. They asked about him when he was in Minnesota, now they can try to put him in a situation where Utah doesn’t want him. The Jazz wants picks, so the Lakers would have to give up one of their picks, but it’s within their reach.

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Beasley would be an interesting player to target this offseason. Its value is likely to be quite low compared to previous seasons. After averaging over 19 points per game in consecutive years with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the 25-year-old guard fell back to earth last season.

He dropped to just 12.1 points per game and saw his 3-point percentage drop to 37.7%. However, he still hits 38.6% of his three-pointers throughout his career, which is solid and would be an improvement over the Lakers. He’s making $15 million a year next season, so Los Angeles would have to send Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn just for the money to work. Adding picks to the package can be a steep price to pay for a guard coming off a disappointing season.

If the Lakers don’t like their trade options, there are still free agents. The Executive named Jeremy Lamb as a potential candidate.

“The best freehand option might be to try Jeremy Lamb,” the executive said. “He’s had a couple of bad years but he still has a good shot, he just doesn’t go in enough. He just needs a few consistent minutes and he can be effective.”

Lamb last played with the Sacramento Kings, where he hit just 30.2% of his three-pointers in 17 games. He’s only a 34.2% career 3-pointer, but is only a season away from a year in which he scored 40.6% of his 3-pointers. It’s not a safe bet but might be worth trying given the lack of great options.

CONTINUE READING: Lakers’ Darvin Ham has strong words for Anthony Davis

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