9. Royce O’Neale
O’Neale was in trade rumors this summer, but no deal materialized. HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported the Nets wanted a first-round pick or the equivalent in return, which is a fair price to pay for a starting 3-and-D wing.
The Lakers have just their 2029 first-round pick to offer in trades. They could protect it, but giving it up for a non-star is a gamble. Does O’Neale improve their title odds enough to make the juice worth the squeeze?
He has shown improved playmaking since arriving in Brooklyn. The 6’4 wing is a career 38.3 percent 3-point shooter who can guard multiple positions and rebound well. He would fit fantastically on the Lakers. O’Neale can defend on the perimeter and mask Austin Reaves weaknesses but does not need the ball. The 30-year-old should be in his prime and is comfortable spotting up and sinking open shots.
If the Lakers decide to add a 3-and-D wing, Royce O’Neale will be among the best available. His $9.5 million expiring contract gives Los Angeles flexibility moving forward and the 6’4 wing could be the missing piece in the franchise making a deep playoff run in 2024. If the Lakers want a 3-and-D wing with multiple years left on his deal, they could look at a different Net.