The Los Angeles Lakers are undoubtedly looking to make some changes and improvements during the season. While the season has been extremely disappointing and there is seemingly no hope, the front office is not going to punt on contending for an NBA Championship this season, nor should they.
Yes, it is highly unlikely, but you cannot blame the team for convincing itself that it can be dangerous once more when Anthony Davis returns from injury, even if Davis was having the worst year of his career since his rookie year before getting hurt.
There is a myriad of players that the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly in on. The biggest of which is Jerami Grant, who the Lakers reportedly offered Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and a 2027 first-round pick for. The Pistons said no.
While Grant might seem like a dream target for the Lakers, this shows that he is probably out of the team’s reach. Thus, the Lakers might be turning to another dream target. And according to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, that dream target for the Los Angeles Lakers should be Eric Gordon.
Swartz pens the following:
"“Gordon is probably the best this team could do. He’s an elite outside shooter this season (46.1 percent) who can get to the rim and do a bit of playmaking for others. Simply matching salaries could be an issue, however, as it would cost the Lakers Talen Horton-Tucker and either Kendrick Nunn or a pair of minimum-contract guys to make the money work.”"
Swartz is correct that it would take THT and Nunn or THT and two minimum contracts to make the trade work financially. However, the Rockets would also probably ask for draft capital as well. There is no way the Lakers would trade a first-round pick for Gordon (the Rockets know that) but they could easily ask for a pair of seconds.
While it seems like a fit on paper because of Gordon’s three-point shooting this season, we have to disagree with Swartz’s sentiment of Gordon being a dream target for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers trading for Eric Gordon would be a nightmare.
Yes, Gordon is shooting over 45% from beyond the arc this season but that has not consistently been the case throughout his career. He is attempting the fewest threes per game since the 2014-15 season and this is the first time he is shooting over 39% since that season. In fact, his combined three-point shooting percentage over the last five seasons is only 35.9%.
Even if Gordon is red-hot from beyond the arc right now, that is not what the Los Angeles Lakers need. The Lakers have shooters. Malik Monk, Carmelo Anthony, Wayne Ellington and even Avery Bradley can all shoot. That has not been the problem for the Lakers this season.
The biggest problem (among many) has been the defensive side of the basketball. Even with Anthony Davis out there, the Lakers have struggled defensively. The team does not have that hugely impactful perimeter defender anymore after letting Alex Caruso walk to save some money against the luxury tax.
The Lakers rank 27th in points allowed per game this season. That is simply not a winning formula.
Gordon would simply add to the supporting cast of veteran players who can shoot but don’t play a lick of defense. Gordon is bad on the defensive end and as an undersized two-guard, it would be a disaster trying to put him next to Russell Westbrook, Malik Monk, or any of the guards in LA who can’t play defense. Avery Bradley would be the best defender left and he is not average at his absolute best defensively.
Talen Horton-Tucker has the most defensive talent on the perimeter on this roster. Trading him for Gordon, who would only add to the existing problem, would actively make the team worse.
Not only that, but the Lakers would be trading a 21-year-old for a 33-year-old who is overpaid and is going to regress.
Hopefully, the Los Angeles Lakers feel the same way we do about Eric Gordon. It would be a shame for the Lakers to pick THT over Caruso only to flip him for Eric Gordon of all players.