The Los Angeles Lakers appeared to be on the right track heading into Monday’s game against the reeling Utah Jazz. However, they blew a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter and lost at home. It’s a bad loss, to be sure, but teams come back to win games all the time.
It happens, but for the Lakers, it’s further evidence that roster changes are needed. Russell Westbrook is the first name that comes to mind when discussing a possible Lakers trade, but perhaps it shouldn’t anymore.
Westbrook has largely played well coming off the bench and has been terrific as a playmaker, helping make up for his offensive drop-off. Instead, a new report by the Athletics Jovan Buha ( subscription required) suggests that the Lakers could trade another one of their point guards.
Who else could the Los Angeles Lakers trade to try and upgrade their roster?
Patrick Beverley was acquired in a trade from the Utah Jazz, go figure, and was expected to help the Lakers but hasn’t thus far. Combine his underwhelming play with his $13 million expiring contract, and he makes sense as a possible trade candidate.
The Lakers could dangle Beverly in trade talks, and while they are loathe to trade their remaining future first-round picks, they could package him with multiple second-round picks to get a deal done. One possible target could be Josh Richardson of the San Antonio Spurs.
Richardson is a 3-and-D wing and would help solve Los Angeles’ shooting woes and bolster their defense. He is also on an expiring contract and makes slightly less than Beverly, making the trade easier to complete.
Although the Spurs are likely looking for a first for Richardson, the Lakers could offer their 2023, 2025, and/or 2027 second-rounders to the Spurs, and the Spurs could always turn around and flip Beverly for an additional asset later.
The Spurs would be doing just that with Richardson, considering they received a first-rounder from the Boston Celtics along with Richardson in the Derrick White trade only to turn around and flip him for two multiple seconds. That should at least make a trade between the two teams a possibility.
Overall, the Lakers have generally played better of late, but this latest loss is a reminder that the roster is still in need of an upgrade. Additionally, given Beverly’s play and the Lakers’ depth at point guard, it makes sense for him to be on the trading block.