As the season has gone on, it’s clear the Los Angeles Lakers don’t have a perfect team. They have yet to find a long-term fix for their shooting issues. Heading into the All-Star break, the Lakers are shooting 35.1% from three, which is 24th in the NBA.
There’s been talk of the team adding a big man at the trade deadline but they’d be wiser to go after a sharpshooter. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report seems to believe that Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte Graham could be an asset.
[The Lakers] need more three-point splashes, and the 6’1″ guard has averaged 3.3 long-range makes at a 36.6 percent clip since the start of 2019-20.
They also need some non-LeBron James options in the half-court, and Graham aces the tightrope walk of creating shots (7.0 assists per game over that stretch) while taking control of the basketball (2.5).
Graham might be available, too. That’s solely speculation, but with LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward in Buzz City, Charlotte has (understandably) limited the 26-year-old’s opportunities, and that trend seems destined to continue going forward.
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Graham Is Having Down Year
Last year, Graham looked like a rising star for the Hornets. He averaged over 18 points a game and shot a little more than 37% from three. With LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward joining the team, Graham has seen his production take a big dip.
He’s dropped to 13.7 points a game and is only hitting about 35% of his threes. The most glaring issue with Graham is his terrible field goal percentage. He only shoots 37% from the field throughout his career. Obviously, the Lakers don’t need him to score non-threes, but he doesn’t seem like the type of player who will limit his shot output.
While Graham is capable of being a high-volume scorer, it’s hard to see him as a fit with the Lakers. He’s not an elite 3-point shooter and isn’t great at scoring twos. He’s not a bad player but he doesn’t appear like the type of player Los Angeles will target. The Lakers are better off finding a consistent shooter.
George Hill Also a Fit
One name that Buckley also mentioned as a potential Lakers trade fit was George Hill:
Hill can handle either guard post at both ends of the floor. He can lead an offense in spurts, but he’s best off the ball as a catch-and-launch sniper (career 38.4 percent from range), which is exactly where the Lakers would need him given how much their offense runs through James and Davis.
Hill would be an excellent fit. He’s played with LeBron James in the past and has been one of the best 3-point shooters around. Unfortunately, the Lakers would have to hope that he lands on the buyout market. They don’t really have anything interesting to offer the Oklahoma City Thunder in a trade. There’s no way they’re trading Talen Horton-Tucker or Alex Caruso for a 34-year old player. If the intent is to trade Hill, the Thunder will likely find a suitor.