The Los Angeles Lakers need more offensive help this offseason but they could disregard that need and double down on defense.
The team had the NBA’s best defense last season and didn’t miss much of a beat when Anthony Davis went down, who is their best defender. Head coach Frank Vogel is a defensive specialist and has done a great job with this team. However, he could want the Lakers to be ever more stout on that side of the court.
According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, Los Angeles is among the teams interested in Milwaukee Bucks forward P.J. Tucker:
Brooklyn has maintained an interest in Tucker dating back to the Nets’ James Harden trade talks. Miami also discussed adding Tucker in variations of the Heat’s negotiations for Victor Oladipo, sources said. Add the Lakers, Warriors, Nuggets and Jazz as teams that could vie for Tucker’s services too. Minnesota, led of course by former Rockets executive Gersson Rosas, has coveted Tucker dating back to the 2020 draft, sources said, and the Wolves have continued searching for front court improvements.
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Tucker Isn’t What the Lakers Need
Tucker has become a very good player over the years. He’s an absolute pest and plays really good defense. Every team could use a selfless player like him. However, he averaged 3.7 points a game this season. He’s a complete non-factor on offense.
The Lakers already have a great defense. As long as they can re-sign Alex Caruso this offseason, the team shouldn’t miss a beat. What Los Angeles really needs is scoring. Now, if Tucker isn’t going to cost much, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have him. That said, Fischer pointed out six other teams that could be after the forward. Competition usually leads to price increases. The last thing the Lakers need to do is overpay a defensive specialist who averages 7.1 points a game over his career.
Dennis Schroder & Kyle Kuzma on Trade Market?
Despite winning a championship just a year ago, the Lakers could look to make major changes this offseason after a disappointing season. Trading for Dennis Schroder was supposed to be a big deal for Los Angeles but it looks like they’ve already soured on him. The team also handed Kyle Kuzma a contract extension before the season but that also hasn’t worked out well. Per Fischer, both guys could be traded this offseason:
League sources expect Chicago and New York to emerge as Schroder suitors, and both could be conducted via sign-and-trade—although Knicks certainly have the cap space to sign him outright. New York will likely have north of $50 million to spend this summer. Meanwhile, Los Angeles continues to gauge rival teams’ interest in Kyle Kuzma, sources told B/R, although Schroder does carry a higher trade value around the NBA.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Schroder holds more value than Kuzma. The veteran guard wasn’t terrible for the Lakers this season despite a disappointing playoff run. Kuzma hasn’t shown the same star potential he did early in his career so teams are likely not overly interested in him.
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