The Los Angeles Lakers shooting woes have given them a daunting start to the season, losing their first four games. They are currently last in the Western Conference standings. Personnel and lineup changes may be to blame for a string of losses, as nine of the Lakers’ current 15-man roster are playing their first season in purple and gold.
With Los Angeles only four games in, it’s hard to imagine the organization is looking to shift pieces around to improve the team, this early in the game. But there is always next year. One Western Conference executive spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports about how the Lakers can improve their roster moving forward. One target they suggested was Miami Heat sharpshooter Max Strus.
“They should be smart and go for multiple players. Role players, guys like (Max) Strus, or bringing back Josh Hart and maybe going for Gary Trent (Jr.) if he opts out in Toronto. Strus will be a bargain next year, even though he’s been good in Miami, he will be undervalued,” The executive told Heavy Sports.
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Raptors Guard ‘Best Fit’ for Lakers
Though almost any offensive threat would be a welcomed addition to the Lakers roster next season, the executive says that Toronto Raptors sharpshooter Gary Trent Jr. is the ‘best fit’.
“Trent, though, he is probably the best fit for them. He is a really strong perimeter defender and he is such a good shooter—they have not had that kind of guy since they got rid of (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) and Danny Green,” he added.
“Though, neither of those guys is the shooter Trent is. Trent might be out of their price range if they want to get two guys. Those are the guys they need, and if they could bring in more than one, that would be best for their situation.”
Lakers Want To Land Star in 2023
Former league MVP Russell Westbrook seems to be at the center of the Lakers’ trade rumor mill. The 9-time All-Star is having a career-low start to the season. He averages 10.3 points per game on 28.9% shooting from the field and 8% from beyond the arc.
The Lakers had discussions during the offseason on a trade package that would have sent Westbrook to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner. However, according to Joseph Salvador of Sports Illustrated, when Indiana asked for the Lakers’ first-round picks for the 2027 and 2029 drafts, the talks fell through.
The same Western Conference executive who spoke to Deveney made it clear that Lakers GM Rob Pelinka is holding onto hope that they can land a star in 2023.
“But they’re probably going to look for the star, make another run at Kyrie Irving even though they don’t have the max to give him. Though, no one is scared of them if you swap out Russell Westbrook and put Kyrie on the team,” the executive added.
“Draymond Green is on the list, too, if he decides to opt out, and he probably will. He makes them a much better defensive team if you drop him onto that roster, but he is getting more and more unusable on offense and they can’t afford another non-shooter.”
They are only three games in, but it may be time for Los Angeles to buckle down and make some calls about a potential trade. More importantly, it may be time to seriously consider all offers they receive.