The Los Angeles Lakers do not look like a team that can repeat as champions in their current state, and the franchise is likely to continue to look for ways to bolster their roster for the stretch run. Help is on the way as Dennis Schroder is expected to clear COVID-19 protocols and the team hopes Anthony Davis can be back at full strength before the postseason.
Even when the Lakers get healthy, we know the team is still looking to add key pieces which is why Los Angeles recently waived Quinn Cook. This makes them a factor in both the trade and buyout markets. ESPN’s Bobby Marks believes the Lakers are a potential landing spot for a number of buyout candidates including Pelicans’ sharpshooter JJ Redick.
“Because they have two open roster spots, expect the Lakers to sign one player to a 10-day contract and leave the other spot open until the trade deadline,” Marks explained. “Some names to keep an eye on in the buyout market if they are not traded are Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza, JJ Redick, Alec Burks, Mike Muscala, Reggie Bullock, Ed Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Elfrid Payton and Tucker.”
The Pelicans Are Reportedly Trying to Trade Redick
A few things would have to happen for Redick to make his way to Los Angeles. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Pelicans are looking to trade Redick to open up playing time for their younger players. Given the Lakers’ current salary cap situation, the team is unlikely to make a deal for the guard.
“Yes, and not just those two guys [J.J. Redick and Lonzo Ball], Eric Bledsoe [has] also been involved in trade talks and in a lot of cases, it is the Pelicans making the calls,” Windhorst explained on the January 27th episode of The Jump. “There is interest there to move out some of the veteran guards to make room for Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis, their first-round draft pick, to get those guys some playing time. The Pelicans are going to be making some changes I believe.”
Redick is shooting 35.8 percent from behind the arc this season, his worst shooting numbers since the 2012-13 season. It is hard to imagine Redick will not turn things around before the season ends, especially on a contender like the Lakers.
The Lakers Are the 6th-Worst 3-Point Shooting Team in the NBA
The Lakers are desperate to improve their three-point shooting ranking No. 25 in the NBA at just 35.1 percent per game. New Orleans’ preference would be to get something in return for Redick rather than releasing the guard.
Redick would be a perfect fit to help address the Lakers’ most glaring weakness, but L.A. has to hope that another contender does not make an attractive offer for the veteran shooter. Redick has a $13 million salary in 2021, the final season of his two-year, $26.5 million contract he signed with the Pelicans in 2019.
LeBron on the Lakers’ 3-Point Shooting Slump: ‘We Have to Make Shots From the Perimeter’
No one knows the Lakers need to shoot better than the players themselves. After the Lakers’ blowout loss to the Jazz, LeBron James agreed the team needs to regain their shooting touch but does not want his teammates putting too much pressure on themselves to rectify the situation.
“Obviously, we have to make shots from the perimeter,” James explained in his post-game press conference. “It’s that simple and we know that, but we can’t put more added pressure on ourselves. Like, me personally, I know I haven’t shot the ball as I did the first 20 games of the season, but I haven’t put more added pressure on myself because I know I put the work in. So, I hope my teammates do the same. Don’t put too much added pressure on themselves. When you put the work in, I think you live with the results.”