The Los Angeles Lakers have been really good to start the 2019 season but there is still one massive, glaring hole on the roster.
The Los Angeles Lakers are atop the Western Conference in the early stages of the 2019 season and have looked dominant at times thus far. Most notably, the defense has really stepped up and proved all the naysayers wrong, being one of, if not the, best defenses in the NBA thus far.
However, not everything has been perfect. While the Lakers have beaten some tough teams, such as the Utah Jazz, they have had a relatively easy start to the season and have lost to the two best teams they faced, the Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors.
The defense has been electric but the scoring has not been as good. Despite having two of the most gifted offensive players of this century, the Lakers are below league average in points per game, ranking 19th with 109.9 per game.
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The root of the offensive problem for the Lakers is the three-point shooting. The narrative has always been to surround LeBron James with shooters and despite the front office’s efforts, the Lakers have been poor in giving LeBron those shooters.
The Lakers rank 27th in three-pointers made per game and 26th in three-point percentage, shooting a measly 31.8 percent.
These numbers likely will go up with a longer sample size once some of the shooters break out of a drought. Anthony Davis likely won’t finish the year under 30 percent, Troy Daniels is better than 31.6 percent and Avery Bradley, as good as he has been, can be five percent better and finish around 35 percent.
The only consistent three-point shooter on the team has been Danny Green and when he has a bad game, as he did against the Raptors, the Lakers’ offense takes a noticeable dive. While it is safe to assume that the current roster will be better, they need another reliable shooter to turn to.
The writing is already on the wall for J.J. Redick to return to Los Angeles as a Laker. Redick won’t have to worry about missing the playoffs for the first time in his career as the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers both have reasons to make this trade happen.
We already outlined the need for the Lakers. Redick could effectively replace Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the rotation while also having the same two-year deal that the Lakers seemed to be chasing this summer.
As for the Pelicans, the one area of the team that they actually have depth is in the backcourt. New Orleans has former Lakers Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart as well as Jrue Holiday and promising young rookie, Nickeil Alexander-Walker.
Frank Jackson has been really good in the chances he has received as well. Those are five above-average guards for where they are in the rotation—a non-contending team like New Orleans would actually get more out of flipping Redick than keeping him on the roster.
The one concern would be offering the Pelicans something of interest. The two sides could get creative and tweak some of the protections from the Anthony Davis deal, perhaps turning one of the pick swaps into an outright draft pick alongside KCP and Talen Horton-Tucker, for monetary reasons.
Right now, the next acquisition for the Los Angeles Lakers appears like it is going to be Andre Iguodala. However, it will be J.J. Redick that makes a bigger impact in LA.