The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to complete a transaction that will send Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Adrian Wojnarowski said. Neither team will be involved in the deal.
Beverley was shared with the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jazz in the blockbuster Rudy Gobert trade earlier this summer. But with the Jazz embarking on a rebuild – Donovan Mitchell could also trade this off-season somewhere – Beverley was a prime candidate to be diverted to another team.
Beverley, a veteran and one of the strongest perimeter defenders in the league, is much more excited about this Lakers roster. The Lakers had all sorts of trouble last season when they finished 33-49 and missed the playoffs, but few were greater than their inability to stop anyone; they allowed 112.8 points per 100 possessions, which was 21st in the league. Some of that was due to injuries and some of that was poor squad composition, but no matter where you want to put the most blame, the main fact is that they just weren’t good enough defensively.
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Beverley won’t solve all their problems, but he will single-handedly make them stronger and better on the defensive side of the ball. He’s also a reliable three-point shooter — 38.5 percent of last season’s catch and shoot attempts — which can help spread the floor around LeBron James and provide some extra playing skill. While not the most exciting addition, he is the type of solid role player the Lakers missed last season.
For much of the summer, the league has been in limbo until the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving situation is resolved. With both players now seemingly staying in Brooklyn, it will be interesting to see if the proverbial dam breaks and more moves follow this Beverley trade.
The Lakers’ desire to send out Russell Westbrook is no secret and now that Beverley is in town, they have someone who can take his place in the starting lineup. To do that, of course, they need to find another team that wants to take over Westbrook and that has proved difficult so far. Still, that’s a situation to watch closely in the coming weeks as more dominoes begin to fall.
There’s not much to discuss from Utah’s side. Danny Ainge started a break with the Gobert trade and there was no reason to keep Beverley close as they entered the race to the bottom for Victor Wembanyama. They get a look at another young player in Horton-Tucker who has shown some flashes as an interesting defensive first role player, but has been inconsistent at all on the offensive. If they can develop him into a part of their core for the future, great; if not, no problem.