The Los Angeles Lakers are yet to turn the corner after early-season struggles and as a result, the trade rumors around the team are starting to grow. The longer the team remains in limbo the more that these rumors will come to the surface.
At the end of the day, the Lakers simply may need to make an improvement at the deadline to have any chance of actually contending for the NBA Championship. With how the team has played thus far it is not controversial to say that is the case.
There are big names on the market such as Dejounte Murray, who has been heavily tied to the Lakers. However, Murray is already proving that he might not be able to handle being a Laker, so that could stop a deal in its tracks.
Instead of going big-name hunting, the Lakers may look to make smaller moves that complement the roster that is already in place. That is what the team would be doing with Tyus Jones and/or Daniel Gafford, who Dan Woike of the L.A. Times named as potential targets for the Lake Show.
"There’s interest in Washington point guard Tyus Jones and center Daniel Gafford, Charlotte guard Terry Rozier and Brooklyn’s wings Royce O’Neal (whom they were discussing in draft night trades) and Dorian Finney-Smith."
It is important to note that the article came out before the trade that sent Terry Rozier to the Miami Heat for Kyle Lowry and a protected first-round pick. That deal is off the table for the Lakers.
Daniel Gafford and Tyus Jones would be the perfect pair for the Lakers to trade for
Daniel Gafford and Tyus Jones are the exact kind of players that the Lakers need to be looking for at the deadline. Gafford is a talented young big who would be able to play next to Anthony Davis while also playing the five with him off the floor. While he can't provide floor spacing, he would be a better big than Christian Wood and Jaxson Hayes on this Lakers team.
Tyus Jones, meanwhile, would add a great boost to the Lakers' backcourt. Jones is a productive three-point shooter who can defend at an above-average level. He is the perfect two-way point guard that can playmake but doesn't need a massively high usage rate to be successful.
Los Angeles could trade for either player separately at their contract figure and it would make sense. However, if the team really wanted to get creative it could trade for the pair to bolster multiple parts of the roster in one deal.
Gafford and Jones combined are making $26.4 million this season. A package of D'Angelo Russell, Jalen Hood-Schifino and Maxwell Lewis would be worth $23 million. The trade works from a money sense and would keep the Lakers under the tax apron.
Los Angeles would definitely have to add second-round picks to intrigue Washington but this would be an intriguing package for the Wizards. Washington can continue its tanking efforts by looking like an AAU team with D'Angelo Russell next to Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma while also getting a recent first-round pick in JHS.
Meanwhile, the Lakers would get someone who would be a more conducive player to winning at point guard in Jones as well as a big who can actually play 20-25 minutes in Gafford.