The Los Angeles Lakers are going to be one of the most talked-about teams in the NBA as the trade deadline approaches. Los Angeles was the most active team at the deadline last year and if expectations are not being met, Rob Pelinka and the front office will make moves.
The Lakers are already getting tied heavily to the Chicago Bulls both for Zach LaVine as well as a potential trade package for both Alex Caruso and DeMar DeRozan. It is unclear exactly what direction the Lakers will take but one thing is certain: the team is on trade watch.
It isn't just the big names that the Lakers are connected to, however. In a recent article detailing one trade candidate for each team, Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype circled wing John Konchar as a trade candidate for the Memphis Grizzlies. Not only is Konchar a trade candidate, but the Lakers are reportedly keeping tabs on the situation.
"Reserve forward John Konchar is also a candidate to be dealt before the February trade deadline. The Celtics, Warriors, and Lakers are among the teams who’ve kept tabs on Konchar’s situation from afar, HoopsHype has learned."
NBA Rumors: Lakers connected to John Konchar trade
While there are several areas that the Lakers could address at the deadline, adding mediocre wing depth does not appear to be one of them. As it stands right now the Lakers are pretty thin on the wing but once the team is fully healthy there are going to be plenty of options.
It is hard to see Konchar getting any minutes in a rotation that includes Jarred Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura, Cam Reddish, and Max Christie when it is fully healthy. Sure, Konchar can be an option if the team is depleted again like it is now, but is that really even worth it?
It is not like Konchar has been impressive at all this season (or in years past). Konchar is averaging just 3.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 18.7 minutes per game this season. His offensive efficiency is terrible as he is shooting 34.9% from the field and 32% from three. He is a career 37.1% three-point shooter but the Lakers can't overlook the fact he has shot 33.7% the last two seasons combined.
To his credit, Konchar is a plus defender and he would bring positive wing defense to Los Angeles. But that is essentially bringing another version of Vanderbilt and Christie that is not really needed. If anything, the Lakers might need another off-ball shooter to bring off the bench, not a defensive weapon with no offensive upside.
The Lakers would be far better off giving any potential Konchar minutes to Christie, that way the team can see where he is at in his development and can get a better gauge of whether or not to re-sign him. Trading assets for Konchar, and then playing him over Christie (assuming Christie isn't in the trade) would be a bad move long-term for LA.
But hey, most of Rob Pelinka's trades worked out last season so maybe the Lakers can unlock something new out of Konchar if he ends up getting traded to LA. All fans can do is wait and see.