Currently, things are not going over especially well for the Lakers.
Los Angeles has struggled to a record of 3-9 since defeating Indiana in the In-Season Tournament final, falling below.500 on the season. The offense remains problematic, and the defense has not been nearly as impregnable as it was at the beginning of the season.
The Lakers are ranked twenty-fourth in offensive efficiency through thirty-five games, notwithstanding the All-NBA caliber of LeBron James and the career-best play of Anthony Davis. The greatest concern has been the marksmanship from three points.
Here are some individuals who could be of assistance to the Lakers as the trade deadline approaches….
Zach LaVine, Bulls
In November, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on LaVine and the Bulls’ “increased openness” regarding the possibility of a trade. Unsurprisingly, at the time, the Lakers were cited as one of the organizations that could potentially exhibit some degree of interest in the two-time All-Star.
LaVine, who has been sidelined since November due to a foot injury, is having a down year despite being a potent scorer who has made 38.2% of his 3-point attempts in his career. He could assist a Lakers squad in need of additional scoring and shooting, and Los Angeles has the personnel to compensate for his defensive deficiencies.
It would be difficult for the Lakers to acquire LaVine without also acquiring Austin Reaves. As far as we are aware, the front desk continues to support the junior guard.
Malcolm Brogdon, Trail Blazers
Although Brogdon’s veteran leadership is valuable to a youthful Trail Blazers squad, he is not yet at a level of development that would allow him to significantly impact a contender. Last season, he was dubbed Sixth Man of the Year while playing for the Celtics. On 41.4% shooting from three-point range, he has averaged 15.7 points and 5.6 assists in 26 games with the Trail Blazers this season.
While injuries remain a concern regarding Brogdon, his marksmanship and playmaking prowess would undoubtedly benefit the Lakers.
Buddy Hield, Pacers
Hield is among the NBA’s top three-point snipers. Since his 2016 draft, Hield has surpassed only Stephen Curry in the number of threes made.
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported at the end of November that the Pacers had set a “high asking price” for Russell Hield, with a first-round pick and a rotation player being required to acquire him. Since Hield has been demoted to a reserve position, the asking price may no longer be as high. His status as an unrestricted free agent will also change during the offseason.
Dejounte Murray, Hawks
The Murray trade has not produced the desired results for the Atlanta Hawks, who are once again in contention for the Play-In Tournament. Before the New Year, Shams Charania of The Athletic described the former All-Star as a “potential target” for the Lakers.
While it would be ideal for the Lakers to have a more proficient shooter encircle James and Davis, Murray is currently exhibiting a career year from the perimeter. The individual in question has made 38.3% of his 6.2 3-point attempts per game successful, with the majority of those being catch-and-shoots.
Murray is a disruptive defender, proficient scorer, dependable passer, and strong rebounder when at his peak. During the offseason, he agreed to a four-year, $114.1 million contract with the Hawks. He becomes tradeable no earlier than January 9.
Tyus Jones, Wizards
Without a doubt, Jones is enjoying the finest season of his career. He has made the transition from Ja Morant’s reserve in Memphis to a full-time starter in Washington, where he has recorded an average of 12.5 points and 5.4 assists on 42.6 percent shooting from three-point range.
The Wizards will be faced with a decision regarding Jones, who will enter the offseason as an unrestricted free agent. He, like Brogdon, would be more at home on a contending squad as opposed to a rebuilding one. Although there are teams capable of presenting a more favorable offer for Jones compared to the Lakers, the Lakers may benefit from the possibility of him being a rental.
Doug McDermott, Spurs
Since his freshman year, McDermott has averaged the fewest points, but his 3-point percentage is at an all-time high of 44.2 percent. He could flourish on the Lakers as a specialist.
McDermott is in the final year of his contract with the Spurs and is logging limited minutes. He might be simple to acquire.
Alex Caruso, Bulls
Caruso is indispensable to every team. Before the 2023–24 NBA season, our Steph Noh ranked him as the second-best defender, behind only Draymond Green. He effortlessly navigates screens, is extraordinarily disruptive, versatile, and a legitimate halt.
Caruso is shooting 42.6 percent from the perimeter and averaging a career-high 10.0 points per game this season, even though his offense is not as well-known.
Given that Caruso was a member of the Lakers’ 2020 championship squad, there is some familiarity. James has been characterized as one of the Lakers organization’s “most ardent Alex Caruso supporters.”