While all the trade talk surrounding the Lakers seems to involve Russell Westbrook, they may be more focused on moving some other guards.
Beverley was acquired in a trade with the Jazz during the offseason, and while his hustle and grit are never in question, he generally has added next-to-nothing offensively. Meanwhile, Nunn was sidelined for all of last season and has been a non-factor, for the most part, this season.
“The team is still actively trying to trade (Westbrook), though they’re unsure of what they want to do with their picks,” Buha said, via Faigen. “But the other three guys (beyond LeBron James and Anthony Davis on non-minimum contracts), Lonnie Walker has been one of the steals of the offseason and has really thrived in that starting shooting guard role. …
“Kendrick Nunn has not lived up to his contract, and has been really inconsistent this season. And Patrick Beverley has still been solid defensively but is averaging career-lows in points, 3-point percentage, and has just really been a non-factor offensively.”
How would a trade of Beverley and Nunn (and a potential first-round pick) actually work? Buha explained.
“So I think looking at Pat and Kendrick specifically — those have been the two names that have come up a lot in potential deals where the Lakers could package those guys together and get to about $20 million combined and then you throw in a first-round pick potentially — and all of sudden there are a lot of options where you get upwards of $22-25 million back in salary and throw in a pick and maybe you get a high-level starter or two coming back the other way if its a rebuilding team that’s looking to shed some salary,” Buha said.
As we relayed earlier this week, the Lakers have been evaluating the roster as they contemplate their next move. They seemingly were determined to do something, anything by Thanksgiving. But it now appears as if they have more of a mid-December target, given that more opposing players will become trade-eligible on Dec. 15.
“For the Lakers, right now they’re looking at ‘do we make a smaller move where we move a Pat, move a Kendrick, we move both with potentially a pick and just keep Russ off the bench as our Sixth Man and get a wing in here, get another big and upgrade that way? Or do we do a big move with Russ that’s probably going to require attaching two picks and really kind of tear this thing down in terms of salary and bring in a Myles Turner and Buddy Hield or someone else?'” Buha said. “So I think right now they’re weighing that. They’re leaning more towards a smaller move of a Pat or a Kendrick, or both, but I think really the next 5-10 games are going to determine what they do.”