Proposed Trade Deals 3 Lakers Guards for Standout Pacers Forward & More

tj warren

Getty T.J. Warren attempting to score on LeBron James.

If the season ended today, the Los Angeles Lakers would be the seventh seed in the Western Conference. It seems like a positive that they’d be in the playoffs considering how poorly they’ve played so far. The team is 12-12 and things are not clicking on offense or defense. The Lakers have their eyes set on winning a championship this year so changes could be necessary if they hope to get back on track.

Right now, the Lakers don’t have enough two-way players on the roster. Part of that is because of the age of many of the top players but the team did prioritize adding offensive talent in the offseason. That hasn’t worked out as the defense is dreadful and the offense isn’t good enough to mask those issues.

Los Angeles may need to consider drastic options at the trade deadline in an attempt to salvage this season. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report proposed that the Lakers trade Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk to the Indiana Pacers for T.J. Warren and Justin Holiday:

If T.J. Warren gets healthy—he’d have some time, since Talen Horton-Tucker isn’t trade-eligible until Jan. 15—he wouldn’t fall into that trap. Warren could push Russell Westbrook for third-scorer duties while making L.A.’s defense more reliable and versatile on the wings. The latter also applies to Justin Holiday, who’d be an asset for his on-ball defense and a closer if his three-point shot perks up (35.7 percent this season, but 39.2 the past two).

Indiana, meanwhile, could decide its current core isn’t good enough and opt to sell ahead of the deadline. If the Pacers wind up playing the long game, they could be drawn to the 26-and-under trio of Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk.

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Does This Trade Make Sense for Lakers?

If the Lakers decided to trade Horton-Tucker, Nunn and Monk, they would be losing most of their youth and a lot of offensive potential. However, the team can’t really worry about potential right now with LeBron James turning 37 at the end of December. Warren is a very good player who averages 15.5 points a game over his career and averaged 19.8 a game last season. He’s a strong defender and could be the Lakers’ third-best scoring option. At 28-years-old, Warren could be a useful piece over the next few years for the team.

Holiday is 32 so there’s not a lot of upside there. That said, he’s a very good defender and has been a successful 3-point shooter in the past despite having a bit of a down year this season. The Lakers would hate to let go of so much young talent but this could be a smart move if they hope to contend this season.

Should Lakers Sell High on THT?

While the Lakers are very high on Horton-Tucker, there’s no guarantee that he’ll amount to a consistent NBA player. He missed the beginning portion of the season with a thumb injury but came out hot when he made his return. He scored 72 points in just three games and looked like a new player.

Unfortunately, he’s in a major slump right now and has only scored 47 points in the last eight games.

Horton-Tucker should still be valuable in a possible trade. If the Lakers think that he might not be as good as they hoped, now would be a great time to try and sell high on him before he loses trade value the same way Kyle Kuzma did.

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