The Los Angeles Lakers did nothing at the NBA Trade Deadline and the year is at its unofficial halfway point, which could bring some change to the roster.
In what was a very disappointing trade deadline, no moves were made by the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite all of the rumors they were involved in they were unable to get a deal done. On top of this, their neighboring rivals, and possibly the stiffest competition in the West, the Clippers, traded for one of the best “LeBron James defenders” in the league.
This makes it crucial for the Lakers to acquire someone who can push them through what is shaping up to be an extremely difficult playoff run. They have been working out players like Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith; however, recently waived Tyler Johnson or NBA veteran Jamal Crawford could also make for good role players on a contending team like the Lakers.
I will be analyzing each of these players and determining how well they will fit on the roster and what they can bring in the Los Angeles Lakers’ quest for their first title since 2010.
First and according to recent reports, the most likely to join the team is Dion Waiters. He has played with LeBron before for a short stint in Cleveland before he was traded to the Knicks. While in Cleveland the two did not mesh, it could be a different story in Los Angeles.
Waiters has an extremely small sample size of games played this year; however, when he has played this year he has been extremely efficient from the three-point line, shooting 47%. One of the sole negatives about Waiters is his character. He had been suspended from the Heat for multiple games this year on top of allegedly causing issues on a team flight after taking an edible.
Next is a player that Cleveland traded Dion Waiters to acquire, and that is J.R. Smith. Smith would fit into being a role player on the Lakers perfectly. His closest comparison on the team would be Danny Green, as both players are snipers from three and also are solid perimeter defenders.
J.R. has built up solid chemistry with team leader LeBron James from playing with him in Cleveland for four years and even won a championship together. With that being said, Smith would bring veteran leadership and playoff experience.
Similar to Waiters, J.R. has had behavioral and decision making issues made in the past. He once threw a steaming bowl of soup on an assistant coach. Also, he notoriously ran out the clock of a tied finals game rather than shooting a layup.
The third player the Los Angeles Lakers could potentially pick up is Tyler Johnson. He is a younger prospect that could still be developed into a better player than he is today. Johnson has had a rough shooting season this year, however, if the Lakers give him a change of scenery he could come out of his slump.
Disregarding the 2019-2020 season, Johnson is a proficient shooter and every year has been a solid defender. The only concern with him is how poorly he has shot in the 31 games he has played, only shooting 28% from three.
Lastly is Jamal Crawford. He has been passed on by every team in the league from the start of the season despite scoring fifty points in a game at the end of last season.
Crawford is one of the best bench scorers in history, and also is one of the best sixth men in NBA history. He is 38 years of age which means he has plenty of experience in the playoffs and is also a great guy to have in the locker room.
A downside of that age is he is not quite as athletic as he used to be and this means his defense is a bit shaky.