The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be linked to big men in the trade market, but the team is also desperate to add shooters. Former NBA executive John Hollinger discussed a potential Lakers trade with The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III. The duo discussed the Lakers making a run at Pistons starting shooting guard Wayne Ellington. The Lakers send Wesley Matthews and a 2023 second-round pick to the Pistons for Ellington along with Deividas Sirvydis in the trade proposal.
“Matthews has failed to make an impression and his cap number is double that of Ellington; this swap gives the Lakers significant breathing room under the hard cap,” Hollinger detailed. “And because L.A.’s 14th roster spot is currently empty, Sirvydis actually saves them money — his rookie minimum actually costs barely half what it would to sign a veteran.”
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Eillington Is on a 1-Year, $2.5 Million Deal
The deal gives the Lakers a shooter on a very team-friendly contract as Ellington is on an expiring contract for $2.5 million. The shooting guard is no stranger to Lakers fans as he played in 65 games in purple and gold during the 2014-15 season. Ellington is averaging 10.8 points and 1.7 rebounds while shooting better than 43% from long-range in 28 games this season, including 24 starts. Edwards believes the Pistons could make Ellington available by the March 25th trade deadline.
“Last week, I reported that opposing teams have shown interest in Detroit’s Delon Wright, Wayne Ellington, Mason Plumlee and Jerami Grant as well as rookies Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart,” Edwards noted. “Per sources, the Pistons have no interest in trading the latter three names, as all are considered to be legitimate pieces of Detroit’s future. Wright, Ellington and Plumlee, though, could possibly be on the move. The Pistons are in the midst of a rebuild and the three aforementioned players all could help teams contending for a playoff spot or championship.”
LeBron on Lakers’ Shooting Woes: ‘We Have to Make Shots From the Perimeter’
Heading into the All-Star break, the Lakers ranked 24th in three-point shooting at just 35.2% this season. LeBron James recently admitted the team needs to shoot better to reach their goals.
“Obviously, we have to make shots from the perimeter,” James explained in a February 24 post-game press conference. “It’s that simple and we know that, but we can’t put more added pressure on ourselves. Like, me personally, I know I haven’t shot the ball as I did the first 20 games of the season, but I haven’t put more added pressure on myself because I know I put the work in. So, I hope my teammates do the same. Don’t put too much added pressure on themselves. When you put the work in, I think you live with the results.”
Edwards detailed why Ellington has trade value heading into the deadline. The Pistons shooting guard is posting career-high numbers from behind the arc.
“The 33-year-old is shooting the leather off the ball this season,” Edwards noted. “Ellington is knocking down a career-best 43.3 percent of his 3s on 6.4 attempts. Additionally, he’s on an expiring, vet-minimum deal, which makes him a prime candidate for a trade.”