Trade target No. 2 – Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic
While Cole Anthony has carved out a solid spot in Orlando’s rotation in his three seasons thus far, his fit with Los Angeles would be questionable.
Last season, Anthony averaged 13 points with a 36.4 3-point percentage. He also got 3.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds per night, as well. Standing at 6-foot 2-inches, Anthony’s athletic hustle on the boards is a welcomed talent on any roster. Offensively, Anthony has a well-rounded approach and skill set.
Where he could fall short for the Lakers is his availability and fit next to James. Anthony has only reached 65 games played once in his three years, falling out of rotation due to injuries for lengthy stretches a handful of times. Currently, the Lakers’ top two guys in Davis and James have their own list of injury concerns every season. The supporting cast’s best ability is availability in the current construction.
It is never fair to assume outright that Anthony will be injured when it matters, but his inconsistent availability could become an issue quickly if James and Davis are also resting.
Next to LeBron James, Anthony could also struggle to find his place. Regardless of Anthony’s versatile playmaking and ballhandling, he would not have the opportunity to spearhead the offense as often as he has in Orlando. He could certainly adjust, as last season roughly one-third of his field goal attempts came within two seconds of catching the ball, per NBA.com’s stat tracking.
Between Anthony and Vincent, though, it would be hard to feel that the Lakers backcourt is complete. Assuming that Anthony is a part of a D’Angelo Russell trade, he is not a surefire upgrade from Russell on a one-to-one basis.
It is hard to deny that Anthony would be a good player in Los Angeles. He would have the chance to play for something meaningful, unlike his time with the Magic thus far.
VERDICT: Fact (mostly)
The best target was rumored for the Lakers last year as well in their search for long-range scoring at the trade deadline.