Based on many of the recent trade rumors, the Los Angeles Lakers are in the market for a big man. They’ve been linked to names like Andre Drummond, P.J. Tucker, Hassan Whiteside and more. However, they could have bigger needs on the roster.
The Lakers could look to add more scoring over landing a center. Dan Favale of Bleacher Report believes the team should trade Wesley Matthews, Alfonzo McKinnie, a 2023 second-round pick and 2024 second-round pick to the Chicago Bulls for Garrett Temple:
Beefing up the shooting and creation—especially during minutes without LeBron James—should be the more pressing priority. Ditto for adding another person who can be saddled with bigger-wing assignments.
Garrett Temple checks two of those boxes. His 34.3 percent clip from downtown doesn’t qualify as much of an upgrade. Even if it rises in L.A. (it might!), he’s not a high-volume flamethrower. Then again, with the way Wesley Matthews has been faring from deep (27.8 percent since Jan. 15), he might actually be an improvement.
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Temple Doesn’t Fix Lakers’ Biggest Issue
Temple is a decent scorer but only averages 6.5 points over his career. As Favale noted, he’s not a great 3-point shooter. That’s an issue considering what the Lakers really need is a knock-down shooter.
Temple is only shooting 34.3% from three this season, which isn’t even higher than the current 35.2% the team is shooting as a whole. At this point, the Lakers might just wait for some of their guys to pick things up. Matthews is typically a very good shooter but is struggling quite a bit. It’s hard to imagine he doesn’t break out of his slump eventually. Dennis Schroder’s shooting has also been a problem. He shot 38.5% on 3-pointers last year and has dropped all the way down to 31.8% this year. Los Angeles needs him to pick things up.
Wayne Ellington Would Be Strong Pickup
Considering the lack of money the Lakers have right now, they are much more likely to wait for the buyout market to pick up than to make a trade. There should be some very good options available to the team. Wayne Ellington would be a player to keep an eye on.
There’s a chance that he gets bought out by the Detroit Pistons as they appear to be in full rebuild mode. Ellington is a career 38.1% shooter on 3-pointers and is shooting 42.2% this season. He’s a pretty consistent shooter, which is exactly what the Lakers need. The team is 25th in 3-point attempts a game as they’re only shooting 30.6. Ellington is throwing up 6.4 3s a game on his own. He’d definitely give Los Angeles a boost in that regard.
The Lakers have had problems with shooting each of the last two seasons. They clearly didn’t do enough to fix the issue in the offseason. At a certain point, the team needs to figure things out because there are too many good shooting teams out there, and the problem could catch up with them in the playoffs. If the Lakers hope to beat the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA Finals, they’re going to need a consistent sharpshooter to space the floor.