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The Los Angeles Lakers are going to be linked in trade rumors with almost every player who could be available. But who actually helps, and who can they actually get?
The Los Angeles Lakers have begun to turn things around, going 9-6 over their last 15 games with a positive point differential. However, they’re still just 12th in the Western Conference and projection models are far from bullish on their chances of actually making the playoffs.
The Lakers have plenty of roster needs and will likely be kicking the tires on any and every player who could be available. Below, we’re ranking a few of the players they’ve been linked with in rumors, by how much they could actually improve the team’s chances this year.
Which NBA Trade Deadline targets have the most to offer the Lakers?
5. Evan Fournier, New York Knicks
Fournier could be a big boon for the Lakers’ backcourt as a spot-up shooter and complementary playmaker. He’s in the midst of a down season for the Knicks but for his career, he’s hit 38.0 percent of his 3-pointers with an assist percentage of 14.4. He’d immediately become the Lakers’ most threatening outside shooter and he’s savvy enough to find other ways to contribute on offense around the gravity of LeBron and Anthony Davis.
However, Fournier is also 30 and it’s possible his struggles this season are at least partially driven by an age-related decline and he’s a net negative at the defensive end of the floor. But the biggest issue with Fournier is his $18 million salary with two more seasons after this one on his contract. To match that in a trade, the Lakers would have to send out both Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn, further depleting their depth, or try to talk the Knicks into taking Russell Westbrook. Fournier would help, but there are not a lot of obvious ways to get him to Los Angeles.