The Los Angeles Lakers are going to be popular on the trade rumor mill this offseason as every team in the NBA knows they want to trade Russell Westbrook. The team general manager Rob Pelinka put together last season wasn’t good enough so big changes need to be made. Trading Westbrook won’t be easy as he has a player option worth $47 million.
One player who was rumored as a possible player the Lakers could swap Westbrook with during the season was Houston Rockets guard John Wall. No deal ever materialized but the two players have similar contracts and have already been swapped for each other once. Replacing Wall with Westbrook doesn’t make the Lakers any better but that doesn’t mean they should close the door on a Rockets trade. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes that adding veteran guard Eric Gordon to a possible trade would make it worth it for Los Angeles:
L.A. probably still needs more than Wall to justify losing a draft pick. Enter Eric Gordon, whom L.A. could poach in the deal by tacking on Horton-Tucker.
While Gordon turned 33 on Christmas, he also just played one of his most efficient seasons to date. His 47.5 field-goal percentage marked a new career-high, while his 41.2 three-point percentage was the second-best he has ever posted. He offers a pinch of off-the-bounce creativity, keeps the ball moving on offense and holds his own in most defensive matchups. The Lakers could get decent mileage out of him at a relatively reasonable cost.
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Gordon Would Be Good Addition for Lakers
Gordon isn’t a world-beater at 33-years-old and won’t be the difference between the Lakers missing the playoffs and winning a championship. However, he would certainly fill an important need. He was one of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA last season and averaged 41.2%. He’s also won the NBA’s 3-point contest in 2017 and was named Sixth Man of the Year that season.
He’s a great offensive piece who can come off the bench. He’s averaged over 13 points a game in every season of his career, which would give the Lakers a scoring boost behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Are Lakers Ready to Give up on Horton-Tucker?
What Buckley is pitching would require the Lakers to send Talen Horton-Tucker to the Rockets. The team was really high on him and handed him a big contract before the season started. He put together a very disappointing season but is still just 21-years-old.
Perhaps his regression had a lot to do with the Westbrook addition. Getting the former MVP off the team could help Horton-Tucker. That said, the Lakers likely won’t hesitate trading him if they can get an immediate upgrade on the roster. Gordon is the type of player who would provide an immediate upgrade. At the same, Gordon is older, and relying on older players was the wrong decision for the Lakers this season. While Horton-Tucker struggled this season, he’s young and still has room to develop.