Lakers Urged to Trade for $19 Million Star Forward

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka

Getty Lakers GM Rob Pelinka

The Los Angeles Lakers have been urged to trade for a $19 million star small forward.

Social media sensation Cuffs The Legend — who is LeBron James’ friend and an NBA analyst — tweeted that the Lakers should acquire Cam Reddish from the New York Knicks.

Cuffs The Legend likely tweeted this while watching Reddish play against the Memphis Grizzlies on ESPN. Although the Knicks lost in overtime by a final score of 115-112, Reddish played well, finishing with 22 points, five rebounds and three steals off the bench while shooting 9-of-15 from the field, 3-of-6 from beyond the arc and 1-of-1 from the free-throw line. The Duke product hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 3.0 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

Reddish was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 10th overall pick in the 2019 draft. He appeared in 118 games with the Hawks before getting traded to the Knicks in January 2022. The swingman didn’t agree to a rookie-scale extension with New York, so he will become a restricted free agent next summer.

Lakers Like Reddish

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported in August that the Lakers, who missed the playoffs last season, were interested in acquiring Reddish. Berman also reported in September that Reddish wanted the Knicks to trade him. The talented youngster only averaged 14.3 minutes per game with New York last season.

“The Post has learned Reddish wants a change of scenery from New York after he was traded there in January and didn’t initially crack the rotation to build confidence,” Berman wrote. “An NBA source said Reddish is looking for a larger role. The Post reported soon after the trade with Atlanta that Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau was against the deal as he didn’t see Reddish as an upgrade to the current rotation. According to an NBA source, Reddish, too, was leery of the trade to the Knicks because he also saw a logjam at the wing, including his former Duke teammate, RJ Barrett, being the man there. Reddish said in his opening remarks he still feels he could be ‘a star’ and most scouts think he’s more athletic than Barrett.”

Reddish could be a good fit for the Lakers since he’s young, long and can shoot 3-pointers. The 23-year-old Pennsylvania native shot 35.9% from beyond the arc last season and is 6-foot-8. Reddish can also create his own shot off the dribble and the Lakers need more shot-creators around James and Anthony Davis.

Lakers Unlikely to Make Major Trade Before Thanksgiving

The Lakers are unlikely to make a major trade before Thanksgiving, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. While Russell Westbrook wasn’t traded over the summer, league sources told Sam Amick, Shams Charania and Jovan Buha of The Athletic that the prospect of the 2016-17 MVP being traded in the coming months remains real.

The Lakers could trade Westbrook to the Knicks for Reddish, Evan Fournier and Derrick Rose. That deal is eligible to be made under CBA rules.

Reddish, Fournier and Rose can all stretch the floor better than Westbrook, who shot only 29.8% from beyond the arc last season. Among 46 players to take at least 1,000 shots in 2021-22, Westbrook ranked 42nd in true shooting percentage. The future Hall of Famer, who is in the final year of his contract, had the sixth-worst effective field goal percentage and was second in the league in turnovers.

Westbrook played 31 minutes on opening night against the Golden State Warriors and put up 19 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and four turnovers while shooting 7-of-12 from the field, 1-of-3 from beyond the arc and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line. The Lakers lost by 14.

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