The Los Angeles Lakers came into last season with championship aspirations.
When it was all said and done, they failed to even qualify for the playoffs.
Understandably, the front office is now desperately seeking out ways to improve the roster.
Earlier this week, word emerged that the Lakers were one of three teams seriously considering making a trade for Utah Jazz guard, Patrick Beverley.
Unfortunately, an obstacle exists.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, one player is presently standing in the way of a deal that would send Beverley to Los Angeles: Talen Horton-Tucker.
“While they continue to register the league’s only tangible trade interest in Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, it’s likewise true that the Lakers have prioritized adding speed, youth and athleticism to the roster,” he wrote.
“As such, according to one source familiar with the team’s thinking, there is no push forthcoming from the Lakers’ side to swap Talen Horton-Tucker (as rumored) for Patrick Beverley, who ranks as one of Utah’s very available veterans alongside Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanović and Jordan Clarkson.”
The trepidation is understandable. Last season Horton-Tucker averaged 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Beverley, conversely, averaged 9.2 points, 4.6 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game in the regular season.
In the playoffs, Beverley’s averages jumped up to 11.0 points, 4.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per outing and he helped guide the Wolves to their first postseason appearance since 2018.
All that being said, while Beverley definitely stepped up later in the year, L.A. had a team full of veterans in 2021-22. It didn’t do much for them. They need youth and athleticism, and that is what Horton-Tucker brings to the table.
The Lakers are currently neck deep in trying to swing something for Kyrie Irving. A framework for a trade exists, but they’ve struggled to get this thing into the end zone. Earlier in the week, L.A.’s last trade proposal to the Brooklyn Nets emerged – and it’s fairly obvious why it wasn’t accepted.
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 15, 2022
It’s unclear whether the Beverley deal will ultimately go through or not, but at the moment the smart money is on the Lakers steering clear of him.
Obviously things might change at some point.
However, odds are Beverley will be playing elsewhere come 2022-23.
A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.