Lakers Urged to Trade for $55 Million 3-and-D Wing

LeBron James, Austin Reaves, Devin Booker, Lakers

Getty LeBron James #23 talks with Austin Reaves #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers in front of Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns.

While Alex Caruso and Zach LaVine remain the hottest names linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, there is a low-key trade they could make to address their shooting woes and shore up their defense.

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley listed Brooklyn Nets’ 3-and-D wing Dorian Finney-Smith as the player the Lakers should target aside from the aforementioned Bulls players.

“Shopping for shooting is a no-brainer, but L.A. should aim for more than a specialist. Dorian Finney-Smith could give this roster a knockdown shooter (career-high 45.4 percent from three this season) while also strengthening its defense,” Buckley wrote.

Ranked last in 3-pointers made, averaging only 9.9 per game on a 29th-ranked 33.5% shooting, Finney-Smith could immediately come in and help in that department. On top of his shooting prowess, the 30-year-old veteran is one of the premier perimeter defenders in the league.

The Lakers, however, will have no shortage of competition should they go after Finney-Smith.

The 6-foot-7 forward, who is on the second season of a four-year, $55.6 million contract with a player option on the final year, has previously drawn interest from several playoff-caliber teams, according to Hoopshype’s Michael Scotto.

Among them are his former team, the Dallas Mavericks, along with the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, and Memphis Grizzlies (before several injuries changed their trajectory this season), per Scotto.

“Given that Finney-Smith is signed through the 2024-25 season before a $15.38 million player option decision for the 2025-26 season, rival executives expect the Nets to continue to have a high asking price worth the equivalent of two first-round picks if they trade him with the hope that the asking price will drop closer to the trade deadline,’ Scotto wrote.

The Lakers have only draft capital left — their 2030 first-round pick — for an in-season trade.

LeBron James Praises Austin Reaves for ‘Big Time’ Shot

While they are deadlast in 3-pointers this season, the Lakers hit when it mattered.

Austin Reaves‘ clutch 3-pointer with 15 seconds left lifted the Lakers over the Phoenix Suns, 106-103, to advance to the NBA In-Season Tournament semifinals.

LeBron James, who preserved Reaves’ heroics with a “high-IQ play” in the closing seconds, heaped his praise on the rising third-year wing.

“I’ve been there a lot in my career, and I understand the assignment,” James said of his domination fourth quarter during his walkoff interview with TNT NBA reporter Allie LaForce. “So I was happy I was able to make a couple of plays. But a big shot came from AR. Up one [point], take us up four. That was big time.”

Reaves finished the game with 20 points, six rebounds, and two assists. James finished with 31 points, adding 11 assists (to just two turnovers), eight rebounds, and five steals.

Lakers ‘Lucky Charm’ Jersey Banned in Semis

The Lakers will switch back to their gold “icon” jerseys as told by the NBA, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

“The NBA is preventing the Lakers from wearing their black uniforms because of concerns over the visual contrast between the jerseys and the design of the specialized in-season court the semifinals will be played on at T-Mobile Arena, a source with knowledge of the subject told ESPN,” McMenamin wrote.

The Lakers are undefeated, with a 3-0 record, in their black “city edition” jerseys.