If the Los Angeles Lakers wish to improve on their abject performances from last season, then they’re going to need additional perimeter scoring throughout their roster.
Spacing the floor for the likes of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook is a prerequisite to Los Angeles finding any form of sustainable success next season, especially if their current big three are all part of the rotation moving forward.
However, finding reliable shooters to add to the roster is easier said than done, nevertheless, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley recently postulated a trade that could see the Lakers add a sharpshooting wing who can also handle the ball and offer secondary playmaking – but it would cost them young guard, Talen Horton-Tucker.
The trade looks like this
Lakers Receive: Alec Burks
Detroit Pistons Receive: Talen Horton-Tucker, 2023 second-round draft pick via Chicago
Adding Burks to the Lakers roster would ensure the bench unit has a reliable wing who can also fill in at point guard in a pinch – something he proved when spending 35% of his available minutes at the point guard position for the New York Knicks last season.
Taking a Closer Look at What Burks Brings to The Table
Burks, 31, has participated in eleven straight NBA seasons, earning consistent minutes wherever he has gone. Throughout his career, the Missouri native has averaged 10.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and two assists per game, while shooting 41.8% from the field and 38% from the perimeter.
This past season, Burks impressed in New York courtesy of his consistency beyond the three-point line, converting 42% of his corner threes, and 40% of his three’s on the perimeter – giving him an overall three-point conversion rate of 41%, per Cleaning The Glass.
According to Instat’s tracking data, last season, Burks split his offensive workload between operating as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, shooting off the catch, and pressuring the rim courtesy of catch-and-drive possessions. All three of those play types will slot nicely into the Lakers gameplan, as Burks would effectively replace Horton-Tucker’s minutes, providing a reliable outside scoring presence while also ensuring no rim pressure has been sacrificed in the trade.
Horton-Tucker Expected to be Trade Chip This Season
Despite Horton-Tucker boasting enough upside to envision him as a starting caliber player during his prime, it’s becoming increasingly clear that his future probably lies away from the Lakers.
Not because Horton-Tucker isn’t capable of donning the purple and gold, but rather, because his limited perimeter shooting only serves to compound an already insurmountable lack of shooting within the rotation. Furthermore, due to his young age and upside, Horton-Tucker is arguably the Lakers’ most tradeable asset at present.
Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz also holds a similar option on the Lakers’ young guard, as on August 11, he wrote about why Los Angeles will likely look to trade Horton-Tucker before next season’s trade deadline.
“Horton-Tucker probably needs a change of scenery to maximize his potential, as he’s a talented ball-handler and poor outside shooter who doesn’t fit next to ball-dominant players like LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. He’s one of the NBA’s worst three-point shooters (26.9 percent) but uses his big 6’4″, 234-pound frame to get into the paint and finish around the basket,” Swartz wrote.
If the Lakers are truly considering trading away Horton-Tucker, then doing so for a ball-handling wing with an above-average three-point conversion rate isn’t a bad way to go, especially if you can still retain your future first-round draft picks in the process.