Lakers Predicted to Part Ways With $78M Disappointment, Trade With Spurs Floated

The Lakers bench

Getty The Lakers bench

One NBA analyst believes the Los Angeles Lakers will make another trade before the February 9 trade deadline passes.

In a January 30 column called “B/R’s Ultimate 2023 Trade Deadline Cheat Sheet for Every NBA Team,” Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale predicted that the Lakers would trade Patrick Beverley. Favale proposed that the purple and gold make a deal with the San Antonio Spurs involving Beverley and Josh Richardson.

  • Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Josh Richardson
  • San Antonio Spurs Receive: Patrick Beverley, 2025 second-round pick, 2027 second-round pick

“Pretty much everyone wants the Lakers to make a bigger deal,” Favale wrote. “It feels unlikely. The star-trade market is nonexistent, and L.A.’s top shelf offer (salary, two firsts and two swaps) can be easily beaten unless someone (like Bradley Beal) is dead set on getting their way to Hollywood. Adding an actual wing goes a long way. Richardson would immediately close games while giving the Lakers a more viable option against the other team’s best perimeter player than LeBron James or Rui Hachimura. Beverley instantly becomes a buyout candidate in San Antonio. The Spurs should be fine parting with Richardson, a free agent this summer, if it secures them two could-be-interesting second-rounders.”

Both Beverley and Richardson become unrestricted free agents this summer. The former is making $13 million this season, while the latter is earning $12.2 million. Beverley will have made more than $78 million in his career once this season ends. Meanwhile, Richardson will have accumulated more than $56 million.

Favale Likes Josh Richardson’s Fit on the Lakers

On January 11, Favale talked about Richardson’s fit on the Lakers, who have the third-worst record in the Western Conference but are only 3.5 games back of the fifth spot.

“Surfing the market for real, actual wings—or any player over 6’4″—is the way to go. And while impact wings don’t typically come cheap, someone like Josh Richardson should be fairly gettable,” Favale wrote. “He is in the final year of his deal and not worth a first-rounder, yet he can defend up and down the positional spectrum and provides more of an offensive punch than many of the Lakers’ other supporting cast members. San Antonio doesn’t currently have a second-round pick in this year’s draft—which gives Los Angeles’ selection unique value—and isn’t tasked with taking on any long-term money here.”

Richardson is a better player than Beverley. The Lakers would be more dynamic offensively if they had Richardson, and not Beverley, next to All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In 38 games for the Spurs this season, Richardson is averaging 11.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 36.2% from beyond the arc and 87.3% from the free-throw line. His numbers are much greater than Beverley’s. The former Los Angeles Clippers guard is averaging only 6.4 points while shooting 34.2% on 3s.

The Lakers Are Looking to Trade Patrick Beverley

Brian Windhorst of ESPN said on January 26 that the Lakers are looking to trade Beverley before the NBA trade deadline. Los Angeles acquired the Chicago native from the Utah Jazz in August.

Beverley has a plus-minus of -97 this season. The 34-year-old, who has never missed the playoffs in his career, has the second-worst plus-minus on the Lakers, trailing only Lonnie Walker IV.

Richardson is younger than Beverley and can do more on offense. The Lakers are interested in trading for Richardson, league sources told Heavy Sports, but they only have a few days left to make a deal.

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