Lakers Trade Ex-Starter to Title Contender for $3.9 Million Wing: Report

Devon Reed

Getty The Lakers landed Devon Reed in a trade with the Denver Nuggets.

The Los Angeles Lakers are moving on from Thomas Bryant several months after signing the promising big man this past offseason. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers traded Bryant to the Nuggets in exchange for guard Davon Reed and three future second-round picks.

“Lakers get Denver’s seconds in 2025, 2026 and 2029, sources tell ESPN. Moving Bryant opens up minutes for Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel in rotation,” Wojnarowski tweeted on February 9, 2023.

Bryant averaged 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game during 41 appearances with the Lakers, which included 25 starts. Reed is averaging 2.3 points and 1.6 rebounds while shooting 36.4% from long range during 35 games this season in Denver. Reed is on a manageable two-year, $3.9 million contract that runs through the 2023-24 season.

Trading for Jarred Vanderbilt Made Thomas Bryant More Expendable for the Lakers

The new-look Lakers will attempt to make a run at the playoffs during the second half of the season. Weeks after acquiring promising forward Rui Hachimura, the Lakers made a blockbuster three-team trade to acquire D’Angelo Russell from the Timberwolves.

Perhaps just as important as adding another scorer in Russell was getting Russell Westbrook out of the building in what had once again become a contentious relationship. The Lakers also acquired big man Jarred Vanderbilt in the deal making Bryant more expendable.

“Vanderbilt, for the first time in his career, is not a mere throw-in,” The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie wrote on February 9. “He solves a couple of issues for the Lakers as a hybrid big/wing that is extremely active, plus he has an exceptionally team-friendly contract that pays him $4.4 million this season and $4.7 million next season.

“Since his days at Kentucky, Vanderbilt has been a voracious rebounder. He currently ranks in the top 20 in the league in both offensive and defensive rebounding rate, the only non-center to place that high in both. The Lakers aren’t a great rebounding team, ranking 24th on offense and 17th on defense.”

Reed Was Labeled as a ‘3 & D’ Prospect Heading Into the 2017 NBA Draft

It remains to be seen whether Reed will make an impact with the Lakers, but Los Angeles at least benefits from the addition of future draft picks. The Nuggets selected Reed with the No. 32 overall pick in the early second round of the 2017 NBA draft. Here is how DraftExpress described Reed as a prospect coming out of Miami.

“The 3 and D label is thrown around quite casually nowadays, but Reed truly has the ingredients NBA teams are looking for in this role,” DraftExpress wrote in June 2017. “He’s 6′ 5.5 with a 7′ 0 wingspan and a projectable frame, is a very willing defender who competes and has versatility on that end (All-ACC Defensive Team), he spaces the floor comfortably (lifetime 37.8% from three on 646 attempts), and has a solid feel for the game.

“…With NBA size and length, some defensive versatility, a solid shooting stroke, and impressive intangibles, Reed has a great chance to hear his name called in the second round and has a chance to work his way onto a roster as a two-way wing.”

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