Lakers Could Trade for $24 Million Combo Guard: Report

Lakers' Darvin Ham and Rob Pelinka

Getty Lakers' Darvin Ham and Rob Pelinka

The Los Angeles Lakers could trade for a $24 million combo guard this summer.

According to a June 29 report from Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, rival NBA executives believe Chicago Bulls guard Coby White could be a player the Lakers target this offseason.

“The Lakers could also look to acquire players via trade, with rival executives believing Chicago’s Coby White could be a target,” Woike wrote. “Moving Talen Horton-Tucker, a player whose ball-dominant skills are viewed by rival scouts as being redundant with the Lakers’ stars, could be a way to upgrade to suit the Lakers’ needs.”

The Bulls drafted White with the seventh overall pick in the 2019 draft. The UNC product has career averages of 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 195 regular-season games while shooting 41.3% from the field, 36.5% from beyond the arc and 85.1% from the free-throw line.

White will make $7.4 million in 2022-23. He signed a four-year, $24.1 million rookie scale contract with the Bulls in July 2019.

Bleacher Report: White Could Help Lakers

Erin Walsh of Bleacher Report wrote on June 29 that White could help the Lakers since he can stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting skills. White shot 38.5% from 3-point range for the Bulls in 2021-22.

“White would undoubtedly be an upgrade from Horton-Tucker,” Walsh wrote. “The 22-year-old averaged 12.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 61 games last season while shooting 43.3 percent from the floor and 38.5 percent from deep. While his numbers declined from the 2020-21 campaign, White averaged 27.5 minutes last season, compared to 31.2 minutes during the season prior. In addition, he started just 17 games last season compared to 54 in 2020-21.

“The Purple and Gold finished the 2021-22 season with the NBA’s ninth-worst three-point percentage (34.7 percent), and there’s no question they need to add shooting around (Russell) Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. … In addition, White could handle starting point guard duties if Westbrook were to underperform again this coming season, so acquiring him could prove to be a valuable addition.”

Jonathan Givony of ESPN reported on June 23 that the Bulls were open to trading the No. 18 pick in the 2022 draft and White on draft night. While those moves didn’t happen, White could still be traded this summer.

Lakers Are Focusing on Two-Way Wings

According to a June 28 report from Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers are focusing on two-way wings in free agency. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker, Austin Reaves, Stanley Johnson, Wenyen Gabriel, Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn and Max Christie are the only players under contract for next season.

“With free agency less than 48 hours away, the Lakers are focusing on two-way wings, according to league sources. Most of the hypothetical scenarios for their taxpayer midlevel exception have been centered on signing a wing or two who could come in and start next to James and Davis,” Buha wrote. “The Lakers believe a player with the right mix of 3-point shooting and multi-positional defense can help strengthen the James-Davis-Westbrook lineups, which opponents outscored by 3.0 points per 100 possessions last season, according to Cleaning the Glass.”

James, who averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 2021-22, is eligible for a two-year, $97 million extension on August 4. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023 if he plays out his present contract.

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