NBA Rumors: 1 trade for every Lakers player on chopping block

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to wheel and deal at the NBA trade deadline.

D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers
D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

2. Lakers parlay Jalen Hood-Schifino, Taurean Prince into wing upgrade

jhs

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.