2. Kenrich Williams
Michael Carter-Williams has the highest defensive ceiling of any cheap player that the Los Angeles Lakers could trade for before the trade deadline but because of his injury, he is not the “dream target”. The “dream” cheap target for the Lakers is Kenrich Williams of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Williams might not have the defensive ceiling of MCW but he is an above-average defender that has posted a positive DBPM in all four of his professional seasons. Better yet, Williams can also shoot the three-ball and gives the Lakers a true three and D stretch four.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it would be for the Lakers to land a true three and D stretch four. That is something that exponentially helps the spacing of the floor and forces Anthony Davis to do what he should be doing already and play the five.
Williams, who is a bit short at six-six (that is fine in today’s game), is shooting 38.2% from beyond the arc this season and 41.7% combined with last season. He is not someone who is going to light up the box score but will average around eight a night with the Lakers, hitting a pair of threes and a two per game.
He is someone who the Lakers could legitimately play with all three members of the big three. The Lakers could run out a lineup of Westbrook, Stanley Johnson, LeBron James, Kenrich Williams and Anthony Davis. They have the defensive wings in Johnson and Williams that can shoot as well. This is the mold for how the Lakers should be building around these starts.
Williams is on a $2 million salary so the Lakers would only have to trade one contract (they could not trade anyone with the trade exception, but LA wants to move off a contract). The team would probably have to trade two second-round picks for Williams but at his price (with another year on his deal) it would more than be worth it.