The Utah Jazz made headlines on Monday as the team traded essentially nothing to acquire John Collins from the Atlanta Hawks. The first response for many Los Angeles Lakers fans was to wonder why the purple and gold didn’t send a similar trade package to acquire Collins from Atlanta.
While a Collins trade may have been a missed opportunity for the Lake Show, there could still be a domino effect that opens new doors for the purple and gold. After, Rob Pelinka should be willing to do anything to improve the roster.
Utah is not going to reroute Collins any time soon but there is another big man on the roster that could be on the move following this move. Following this Collins trade, the Lakers should be checking in on big man Kelly Olynyk.
Kelly Olynyk is a perfect trade target for the Lakers after John Collins trade
One of the things that Los Angeles really lacked in the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets was quality size behind Anthony Davis. That was one of the core tenets of the team’s 2020 championship run and that simply was not there in the NBA Playoffs.
Adding Olynyk would fix that problem instantly for the Lakers and would give the team a big that can play alongside Davis but can also handle his business in the frontcourt when Davis is resting.
As mentioned in the tweet above, Olynyk is coming off of a career year with the Jazz. The 32-year-old big man averaged 12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 28.6 minutes per game while shooting 49.9% from the field, 39.4% from three and 85.3% from the free-throw line.
Los Angeles would benefit immensely from adding a big that can space the floor as efficiently as Olynyk can. This allows Davis to essentially operate as the center on offense and a roaming four on defense.
With Collins now in Utah and Walker Kessler heading into year two, the Jazz really has no use for Olynyk and would benefit more from trading him. If Utah simply wants cap space then the Lakers could send Mo Bamba and future second-round picks for Olynyk with the Jazz shortly waiving Bamba thereafter.
If Utah wants quality young talent in return, it would not be totally surprising to see Max Christie moved. He only has one more year under contract until he is a restricted free agent and he probably won’t even have a role in the rotation next season anyway.
Regardless, the Lakers have the means to make this happen and if they are going to pay over $10 million for a big man next season it would be far better to pay that to Olynyk than to Bamba.