NBA rumors: You could make an argument about the Los Angeles Lakers being one of the best teams in the entire league after last season’s NBA trade deadline. LeBron James and Co. turned their season around in a marvelous way, ultimately leading to a somewhat unexpected trip to the Western Conference Finals.
The front office liked what they saw from their squad in the latter part of 2022-23 and they made sure to keep their core intact this summer. Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura all penned new deals with LA, and they also added Gabe Vincent via NBA free agency. It goes without saying that the Lakers are looking to win it all this year.
NBA Rumors: Lakers Land Kevin Porter Jr. via Trade With Rockets
Are the Lakers still one piece away from emerging as favorites in a ruthless Western Conference? It’s not as if they’re going to get their hands on Damian Lillard or James Harden, but it wouldn’t be a complete shock if LA decides to bring in another player that could make a significant impact on the squad before next year’s trade deadline.
According to Lee Tran of Fadeaway World, one player the Lakers should look into is Kevin Porter Jr. of the Houston Rockets. In what he calls a “low-risk, high-reward” trade deal, LA sends Jarred Vanderbilt, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Max Christie, a 2024 Second-Round Pick (LAC), and a 2025 Second-Round Pick (LAC) to the Rockets. That’s obviously quite a lot to sacrifice, but KPJ could prove to be a worthwhile investment for the Lakers.
Last season with the Rockets, Porter averaged a career-high 19.2 points for the Rockets on 44.2 percent shooting, with 5.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. He also knocked down 2.4 triples per contest on a 36.6-percent clip, making him a very capable second-unit scorer for the Lakers.
“Kevin Porter Jr. is clearly a solid scorer, and his shooting will be highly useful next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Porter Jr. has some experience playing off-ball as well, as he has had to play with other ball-dominant stars such as Jalen Green already,” Tran wrote.
Given his versatility, Porter could also slip into the starting lineup when necessary, particularly when the aging Lakers start dealing with their injury woes this coming season.
NBA Rumors: Lakers Part Ways With Young Talents, Future Assets
There’s little doubt that Porter would be a worthwhile acquisition for the Lakers, but the question is whether or not he would be worth his weight in gold. By giving up rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino and the highly-promising Max Christie, the Lakers lose two potential future key players. The departure of Jarred Vanderbilt would be ablow too, as is the need to part ways with two future second-rounders.
At the end of the day, however, the Lakers have to win now. LeBron James is entering the final two years of his contract and we all know that Father Time is knocking on his door. A swoop for a potentially high-impact player such as Kevin Porter Jr. might just be what takes this team to the next level in 2023-24.
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