Proposed Trade Sends Lakers a $30 Million Former Lottery Pick

Kendrick Nunn, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Kendrick Nunn, Los Angeles Lakers

Shooting is something the Los Angeles Lakers can’t escape when we’re discussing a clearcut need.

Right now, the Lakers roster is littered with interior scorers and wing slashers, but their perimeter offense leaves a lot to be desired. However, according to a Western Conference Executive, who spoke with’s Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, there is an answer should the Lakers be willing to enter into trade discussions.

“I wonder if they are regretting giving their midlevel to Lonnie Walker. He has some upside, he is a very good athlete and he’s relatively young but the more he shoots, the worse he gets at it. They could package him, later on in the year, with Kendrick Nunn and maybe get something back, maybe Alec Burks from Detroit. He has turned into a very good shooter who can do a few other things for you, too,” The executive said.

Burks was impressive for the New York Knicks last season, playing both point and shooting guard throughout the season and proving to be a reliable veteran presence on both sides of the ball. Throughout 81 regular-season games, Burks averaged 11.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and three assists per game while shooting 40.4% from deep and 37.8% inside the perimeter. 

Given how the Lakers are likely to run their offense through LeBron James, and that both he and Russell Westbrook will be the primary ball handlers in the rotation, Burks could prove to be an invaluable floor spacer and spot-up shooter in drive and kick situations.

Westbrook Impresses in First Practise of New Season

On Tuesday, September 27, the Lakers, along with the rest of the NBA, held their first practice session of the 2022-23 NBA season, and it would seem that Westbrook made a solid first impression on his new head coach.

Speaking to reporters following the workout, Darvin Ham spoke highly of the veteran superstar and hinted that Westbrook would be his starting point guard once games get underway in late October.

“I know there’s this narrative that’s being thrown out there that I never said, you know what I’m saying?… Like, it’s crazy. I mean, what goes on in this building, what goes on with the conversations with Rob [Pelinka], Russ and myself, his agent Jeff [Schwartz]. …You have to hold your tongue a lot and choose not to speak about things. But then people draw different scenarios out of your silence, which is crazy. But he was there front and center today and did well, brought a ton of great energy to the gym,” Ham said.

Luckily, the Western Conference Executives’ notion of trading for Burks would further strengthen Westbrook’s position on the roster for the coming season, as there would be additional space for the star guard to attack off the dribble along with there being a high-level perimeter scorer to act as a release valve.

Lakers Committed to Building Around LeBron

Trading for Burks would be a low-cost option for the Lakers, in terms of not having to part with any future draft assets or core members of their rotation. But, that doesn’t mean the Lakers wouldn’t be looking to make a bigger splash before the trade deadline.

When speaking to the media on Monday, September 26, Rob Pelinka was clear that he’s willing to make a significant trade should the right player become available – however, he was also quick to note that trading away their 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks can only be done once, so there does need to be a level of prudence in the decision

“Let me abundantly clear: We have one of the great players in LeBron James to ever play the game, on our team. He committed to us with a long-term contract, a three-year contract. So of course we will do everything we can, picks included, to make deals that give us a chance to help LeBron get to the end.

He committed to our organization, that’s gotta be a bilateral commitment. But let me be also clear, that you have to understand the CBA and the Stepien rule…You have one shot to make a trade with multiple picks. So if you make that trade, it has to be the right one, you have one shot to do it, so we’re being very thoughtful around the decisions on when and how to use draft capital in a way that will improve our roster,” Pelinka said.

As things stand, it doesn’t seem like any star-level talents are currently looking for a way out of their current situation, but that call all change before the trade deadline, and as such, we can’t rule out the possibility of a star-level deal being made mid-way through the season. But, for now, the Lakers, and their fans, would probably settle for seeing a veteran shooter like Burks come through the door.
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