2. Lakers parlay Jalen Hood-Schifino, Taurean Prince into wing upgrade
The Lakers are one of the teams connected to Brooklyn Nets wing Dorian Finney-Smith. There's a chance he ends up out of Los Angeles' price range, but the Lakers would be wise to throw the kitchen sink at Finney-Smith (within reason). He doesn't move the needle in a traditional sense, but his 3-and-D competence could go a long way next to LeBron James.
Darvin Ham has infuriated the fanbase and his own players with inexplicable lineup inconsistency all season. It's time for the Lakers to cement a set-it-forget-it starting five. Finney-Smith helps; there's a vast ocean between him and Taurean Prince or Cam Reddish in terms of impact. Brooklyn's setup does him no favors, but Finney-Smith is a 38.3 percent 3-point shooter. Not long ago, he was the best defender on a Mavs team that made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals on the strength of its defense.
At 6-foot-7, Finney-Smith can guard the toughest assignments on a nightly basis. He can switch across four or five positions on most nights, while his instincts as a help defender constantly pop. What Finney-Smith lacks in evident playmaking talent on that end (0.7 steals and 0.6 blocks), he makes up for with razor-sharp awareness and a high level of intensity.
The Lakers don't need to reinvent the wheel at the trade deadline. LeBron can still collapse a defense and create for teammates at a level few can match. Los Angeles doesn't really need another point guard. They would benefit the most from plugging an elite wing defender and bankable floor-spacer into the starting four spot. Finney-Smith is the perfect medicine for what ails them.