New Lakers Trade Proposal ‘Changes Everything’ With Addition of 3-and-D Stud

josh richardson

Getty San Antonio Spurs guard Josh Richardson.

With Kyrie Irving trade talks reaching a standstill, per Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Los Angeles Lakers need to continue to build out their roster. The team has added youth and athleticism in free agency but the roster is far from a finished product. Adding a three-and-D wing should be among the top priorities going forward.

With the free agent well quickly drying up, the Lakers might have to look to the trade market in other places if they want to keep improving. If the team refuses to trade picks, they could dangle Talen Horton-Tucker to teams looking to offload some veterans as they attempt a rebuild. Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes that the Lakers trading Horton-Tucker to the San Antonio Spurs for veteran guard Josh Richardson could “change everything”:

Moving Horton-Tucker for a proven three-and-D wing like Richardson immediately makes the Lakers better. The 28-year-old can play and defend multiple positions and averaged 10.2 points while shooting 41.5 percent from three last season between the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs. After his trade to San Antonio, Richardson ranked in the 89th percentile among all players with a plus-7.9 swing rating, per Cleaning the Glass.

The Spurs are clearly punting on the 2022-23 season after trading Dejounte Murray, so moving a veteran like Richardson for a talented 21-year-old in Horton-Tucker is just smart tanking.

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Richardson Would Be a Solid Fit

Richardson isn’t a star or a world-beater. He averaged 12.0 points a game in his career and hits 36.5% of his threes. He doesn’t have the raw upside of Horton-Tucker but he could be a useful piece right away. He’s capable of having a good shooting season. Last season, he hit 41.5% of his threes.

What makes him most appealing is his ability on defense. He’s very similar to former Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. He’s more than capable of putting up a great offensive performance from time to time but always puts the effort on defense. Los Angeles missed Caldwell-Pope last season so adding a similar player could be a smart move.

Highlights: Josh Richardson's Top Plays | 2021-22 San Antonio Spurs SeasonHighlights from San Antonio Spurs Josh Richardson's 2021-22 season. JRich averaged 10.2 PPG and 2.8 RPG, while shooting 94.4% from the free-throw line.2022-05-18T15:00:25Z

Have Lakers Given up on THT?

The Lakers put a lot of faith in Horton-Tucker last offseason when they decided to sign him to a new contract instead of Alex Caruso. The former second-round pick out of Iowa State had shown flashes of star potential and the team was banking on his upside. Unfortunately, it appears to have been a bad bet. Caruso continued to play elite defense with the Chicago Bulls while Horton-Tucker failed to help the Lakers on either side of the court last season.

It’s starting to look like the team has lost faith in the young guard. Previously, the team was very apprehensive to trade him, but now they seem much more open to moving on from him. There’s still a chance he can turn into a very good pro but he doesn’t have the same amount of hype around him. There’s a strong chance he gets moved in the near future for a more proven player like Richardson.

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