Lakers Could Trade Veteran Star in December: Report

Lakers bench on November 18

Getty Lakers bench on November 18

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly could trade a veteran starter in December.

Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported on November 28 that Patrick Beverley is a “name to watch” on the trade market. The Chicago native is in the final year of his contract.

“The other benefit of waiting until at least Dec. 15 to make a move is that the Lakers can trade players they signed in free agency. One name to watch is Patrick Beverley, who’s the fourth-highest-paid player on the team at $13 million,” Buha wrote. “Beverley is still an elite defender and one of the group’s vocal leaders, but he’s averaging a career-low 4.1 points per game and shooting a career-worst 23.8 percent on 3s. Beverley, like Kendrick Nunn, could still have value on teams looking for veteran backcourt help. The Lakers’ needs and glut of guards make both expendable.”

The Lakers acquired Beverley in August from the Utah Jazz. The 34-year-old is averaging 4.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists this season while shooting 26.6% from the field, 23.8% from beyond the arc and 82.4% from the free-throw line.

Beverley is making $13 million this season. He recently lost $268,966 for shoving Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton on November 22.

December 15 Is a Big Day for the Lakers

December 15 is the first day that free agents who were signed in the offseason can be traded. It’s also the day the Lakers, who are only 7-12, are targeting to begin exploring roster upgrades via trades, according to Buha.

“The Lakers are evaluating the roster to determine if they’d prefer to make a smaller move or a bigger one to address the roster’s need for better perimeter shooting and size, team sources tell The Athletic,” Buha wrote. “That includes deciding if they want to include one or both of their tradeable future first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 in any deal. The Lakers remain reluctant to give up both unless there’s a trade – or trades if they split the picks up in separate deals – they believe will elevate them to contender status.”

Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka decided that giving up the team’s 2027 and 2029 first-round picks was too steep a price to pay to acquire center Myles Turner and shooting guard Buddy Hield from the Indiana Pacers before training camp started, according to a November 28 report from Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The proposed trade, which involved Turner and Hield going to the Lakers and Russell Westbrook and draft picks going to the Pacers, fell apart when Los Angeles backed away.

Lakers Leaders Want Pelinka to Make a Trade

McMenamin reported there is a belief shared by leaders in the Lakers’ locker room that the team is only a couple of players away from turning the group into a legitimate contender. Los Angeles currently has the third-worst record in the Western Conference.

“There is a belief shared by leaders in the Lakers’ locker room, sources said, that the team is only a couple of players away from turning this group into a legitimate contender,” McMenamin reported. “But acquiring the right players could take multiple trades.”

The Lakers missed the playoffs last season. Superstar small forward LeBron James has only missed the postseason two years in a row once during his Hall of Fame career.

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