3. Derrick Jones Jr.
Jones Jr. is having a career year in Dallas. He signed a one-year $2.7 million in the offseason in hopes of building his value for the summer of 2024. Luka Doncic gets his role players open shots, and Jones Jr. is capitalizing by shooting 36.7 percent from 3-point range and averaging a career-high 10.4 points per game.
The 6’5 forward is known for his defense, but his offensive game has blossomed with the Mavs. He had never shot better than 33.8 percent from 3-point range and was known more for his dunks than production. DJJ helped the Heat reach the NBA Finals in the bubble but was playing an end-of-the-bench role. The 26-year-old is just entering his prime and ready for more playoff experience.
The Lakers would love to have Derrick Jones Jr. on a minimum contract right now. There is no guarantee his shooting percentage would have jumped so far in Los Angeles, but it has improved four straight years. A leap was coming and the Lakers missed their chance at benefitting from it.
They would have missed out on the playmaking, but Derrick Jones Jr. would be a fantastic 3-and-D wing to turn to off the bench. It would mean playing Austin Reaves more as a point guard, but having DJJ producing is better than the five games of Gabe Vincent before the trade deadline.