Lakers Interested in Trading for $13 Million Defensive Star: Report

Lakers' Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham

Getty Lakers' Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham

The Los Angeles Lakers are interested in trading for a $13 million defensive star who used to play for the Los Angeles Clippers.

According to a July 13 report from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Patrick Beverley has drawn interest from the Lakers. The three-time All-Defensive guard was traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Utah Jazz on July 6 in the blockbuster Rudy Gobert trade.

“Patrick Beverley also appears to be a strong trade candidate,” Fischer wrote, noting that all five players who came to the Jazz from the Timberwolves were viewed as available for trade. “The former Timberwolves point guard has drawn interest from the Lakers and Heat, sources told B/R. Philadelphia had been mentioned as a potential Beverley suitor, with his past Houston experience and the Sixers’ obvious deep Rockets connections, but it seems unlikely that Beverley would now be Philadelphia-bound after the team acquired De’Anthony Melton on draft night.”

Beverley will make $13 million next season. He appeared in 58 games for the Timberwolves in 2021-22, averaging 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists while shooting 40.6% from the field, 34.3% from beyond the arc and 72.2% from the free-throw line.

Beverley Wants to Play with LeBron James

As a guest on the May 12 episode of ESPN’s “NBA Today,” Beverley said Lakers small forward LeBron James is the one superstar he would play with if he could pick one.

“Bron. Easy. Top dog,” Beverley said.

In his four seasons with the Clippers, Beverley was a pest against the Lakers and loved beating the purple and gold since Los Angeles is more a Lakers town than it is a Clippers town. Beverley continued to troll James even after he left the Clippers. During the Timberwolves’ 124-104 blowout of the Lakers on March 16, Beverley flexed and yelled at James and tapped the King on the behind with Minnesota up 62-44 in the second quarter.

Even though James and Beverley have gotten into it several times on the court, they are friends. The latter thanked the former on Twitter on May 7, calling him “Big Bro.”

Beverley Would Be a Good Fit for Lakers

Beverley is one of the best defenders in the NBA. He’s averaged 1.1 steals during his career and his defense, toughness, passion and competitiveness could help James and the Lakers get back to the promised land.

The Lakers need an elite defender on the perimeter and Beverley fits that bill. Los Angeles gave up 115.1 points per game last season, which was 28th of 30, and had a defensive rating of 113.3, 21st of 30.

On May 17, Beverley — who always speaks his mind — told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that the Lakers would reach the Western Conference finals if he were on the roster. James and Co. missed the playoffs last season.

“If I was a free agent and I played for the Lakers, [we are] going to the playoffs,” Beverley said. “Going to the Western Conference Finals. No discredit to LeBron James, but he’s doing so much. Who’s the leader? They had success cuz it was a leader there. [Rajon] Rondo was there. At the time, he was the leader. Who’s the leader? Who’s telling LeBron, ‘Hey LeBron, you gotta be low man, bro. That ain’t your help out. You gotta X-out.’ No one’s telling him that. Not on a consistent basis. I’ma tell everyone that cuz I wanna win. Cuz it’s not about me scoring 20. It’s not about me having 15 dimes. I wanna win. I wanna beat everyone I play.”

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