There’s a lot of focus on the big moves for the Lakers this offseason after they missed a franchise-record sixth straight postseason this year. There’s the Anthony Davis trade drama kicking up again with New Orleans interviewing new general manager candidates. There’s this summer’s inevitable Kevin Durant sweepstakes, as the All-Star is reportedly ready to bolt from Golden State.
There hasn’t been much discussion on smaller transactions Los Angeles could do with a likely large amount of cap space, seeing as several 1-year deals are set to evaporate this summer. ESPN’ Brian Windhorst sat down with Jas Kang of SB Nation’s Silver Screen and Roll to suggest some avenues in this vein.
One was a potential free agent signing of Portland Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry. Windhorst stated that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka “should absolutely target him.”
Kang was asking about the possibility of one of Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant joining LeBron James in Los Angeles. Windhorst mentioned that those guys, particularly Irving and Durant, are too unpredictable.
If they don’t get those four guys, do they do something like give Boogie Cousins a 1-year deal or do they break it up and use it on other players? For example, a guy who’s a free agent this summer who the Lakers should absolutely target is Seth Curry. If you go look at the last 10 years, there’s always been an off-guard with LeBron who can shoot…Mo Williams in Cleveland…Mario Chalmers in Miami, then Kyrie Irving is the best example. They were tailor-made to play with each other.
Curry, the younger brother of Warriors star Steph, averages 7.7 points on 44.8 percent shooting for the Portland Trail Blazers. His best season was in 2016-17 with the Dallas Mavericks, where he tallied 12.8 points a contest.
Overall, he has connected on nearly 44 percent of his triples in his 6-year NBA career. He is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer after a 1-year, $2.795 million contract per Spotrac.
That 3-point percentage is nearly 10 points above Chalmers is his career and 6 points above Williams. Curry has averaged less points in his time in the NBA compared to Chalmers, Williams and Irving.
Another option Windhorst addressed is Charlotte guard Kemba Walker, saying he’s a far less efficient player and wouldn’t leave room to grab other role players.
Yeah, he’s a big name, and when he gets going at the end of these games and he gets white hot, he’s one of the most enjoyable players to watch in the league. He’s also 29, under-sized a has bad shooting percentages. He needs the ball in his hands. To me, I want somebody playing off-guard, defend perimeter players and can shoot.
Curry is 6-foot-2, only an inch taller than Walker, who’s scored 25.3 points per game on 43 percent shooting overall and over 35 percent from deep. He’s set to be a free agent this summer and is due for a pay bump from his current $12 million/year deal with the Hornets.
One of the people calling for Walker in Los Angeles is former coach Byron Scott, who told ESPN “Give me Kemba alongside LeBron James.”
Walker has been connected to potential teamups with Durant in New York, James in Los Angeles and Luka Doncic in Dallas.
A Walker deal would be more in line with the recent history of James, who’s teamed up with Irving and Kevin Love in Cleveland, as well as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
As financially conservative as a Curry deal might be, I’m thinking this would be a major fallback plan if the major deals fall through.