The Los Angeles Lakers desperately need to change things up from the way things were last season.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks are coming off their best run in the Luka Doncic Era – making the NBA Western Conference Finals.
And while Doncic is committed to getting even further in 2022-23, the Mavericks have some roster limitations. Jalen Brunson is gone. Kristaps Porzingis is gone (even if players do say they’re happy about this one).
As presently constructed, it’s hard to see how the team improves.
This week, an NBA source suggested to insider Sean Deveney that a Tim Hardaway Jr. to L.A. trade may make sense for all parties involved.
“Teams like him. You know what you’re getting. OK defender, streaky shooter, high basketball IQ, a veteran guy,” the source said of Hardaway. “The Lakers are looking for upgrades across the board, a veteran guy like Hardaway, there is something that could get done there if there was another team involved and a draft pick. He makes sense there.”
If the Lakers and Mavs were to rope in a third team, Dallas could walk away from all this with a proven veteran to help Doncic out. Not a star-level guy, but a decent supporting cast player.
L.A. meanwhile, would dump Talen Horton-Tucker and hopefully gain back some draft capital that could be used down the line.
Last season Hardaway suffered through an injury-plagued campaign that saw him put up his worst stats since 2016. If he can bounce back, the Lakers can get a sharpshooting decent defender to spread the floor a bit.
And they’d get it at a decent price, relatively to their other options.
But if neither of those work, Hardaway could prove to be as good of a Plan C as any.
Both Kenny Pickett and his girlfriend made quite the debut on Saturday. https://t.co/1mjsf9bUTe
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 14, 2022
Will the Lakers and Mavs be able to make something work for him in the foreseeable future?
Time will tell.