The Los Angeles Lakers are back in the win column after a four-game skid but that doesn’t mean they don’t have issues. Even in Friday’s win against the Portland Trail Blazers, the team only shot 26% from three. They have now fallen all the way to 27th in 3-point percentage. That’s simply not good enough for a team with championship aspirations.
With the trade deadline approaching, the Lakers need to consider adding a sharpshooter. Dan Favale of Bleacher Report believes that Detroit Pistons guard Wayne Ellington would be just what the doctor ordered. He proposes that Los Angeles sends Alfonzo McKinnie, a 2023 second-round and a 2024 second-round pick to Detroit for Ellington:
Head coach Frank Vogel has bemoaned the Lakers’ lack of three-point volume. They are 25th in the share of their attempts that come beyond the arc. Ellington has no bones about firing at will. He is used to more off-ball motion than LeBron-led offenses implement but still useful without it. He’s draining 40 percent of his catch-and-shoot threes and swishing an absurd 47.4 percent of his triples that come after a single dribble.
Other teams can offer more imminent second-rounders for Ellington. Pretty much everyone can dangle more assets, period. But Ellington shouldn’t engender a full-tilt bidding war, and the Lakers can possibly distinguish themselves by putting two seconds on the table.
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Should Lakers Target Ellington?
If Ellington gets traded to the Lakers, it would be his second stint with the team. He played in Los Angeles during the 2015-2016 season. That Lakers weren’t good back then but now they’re title contenders. That has to be very appealing for a guy who has been in the NBA for over a decade but has no championships under his belt.
The Lakers trading for Ellington makes a lot of sense. He’s shooting 40% from beyond the arc this season and is shooting six threes a game. He’s exactly the type of player they need right now. If he is available in a trade, the Lakers should make it happen.
Regardless, Lakers Need Better Production From Current Roster
Los Angeles is going to have a very hard time winning another championship if they keeping shooting terribly. This was an issue last season and they clearly didn’t address it. Regardless, the Lakers aren’t in a position to make any big moves.
Even if they add Ellington, their current players need to shoot much better. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was one of the hottest shooters in the NBA for a while. In his last 18, he’s only made more than one 3-point three times. That’s very concerning considering he’s supposed to be one of the team’s best shooters.
LeBron James has also struggled. His 3-point percentage has dropped to around 35% this season. Dennis Schroder shot around 39% from three last season. He’s only hitting around 32% this season. The Lakers have capable shooters on the roster right now but they are struggling for whatever reason. They’ll need to figure out these issues before the playoffs or they can kiss a repeat goodbye.