According to multiple sources, including ESPN’s Ryan Russillo and Basketball Insider’s Steve Kyler, the Lakers and 76ers have been discussing a trade that would send the #7 pick to Philly and rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams to Los Angeles.
But, is the trade worth it?
The answer could be, yes.
Michael Carter-Williams shined on a losing Philadephia 76er team. The trade would allow the Lakers to have a 6’5″ point guard with triple threat skills. His man-defense was questionable out of Syracuse, but he proved decent there. More importantly, he was able to force turnovers, and be among the NBA’s league leaders at 1.9 per game. He is an unselfish point guard who needs to work on his perimeter shooting and strength. He shot 40.5% from the field, 26% behind the arc. His wingspan is average at just 6’5″, but he cleaned up his high-dribble during his rookie year. He was able to attack the basket effectively without using screens and finish well.
He had a tremendous NBA debut.
Thaddeus Young is also a great talent. He plays the power forward position like a small forward. Though he is wiry, he makes up lack of strength with motor, length, and being crafty around the paint. He was once projected to be a Paul Pierce-type of forward, but his ball-handling and perimeter shot didn’t develop as much. He shot just below 50% from two-point range last season. What did develop was his defense and rebounding ability. He has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1:1 with his good for the power forward position. What he likes to do best, is fly out in transition and force turnovers. He has been averaging around two steals per game in the past two seasons, where he has been able to be a starter for the 76er team. At age 26, he still has a few years before entering his prime. His contract ends next season.
Overall, if the trade goes through, the Lakers would fill two positions needing athleticism, skill, and talent.
One thing that isn’t in the Lakers favor is, their shooting ability. But, at least the Lakers add athleticism, quickness, defense, and rebounding to round out their roster, should they choose to execute the proposed trade.
The Lakers will likely consider how Thaddeus Young eats up the current cap room and the prospect that they may choose to bypass at the draft. If a lottery player slips to #7, it may be better to keep the pick with the cap space altogether.