When you have a season as bad as the Lakers had this year, wholesale changes are needed. A roster with as many flaws as this one needs to be retooled, and very few options should be off the table.
When scouring the league for upgrades, the Lakers will likely be targeting wings they didn’t have in 2021-22. A name that will almost certainly arise at some point this summer will be Terrence Ross.
Improbably, despite being on the trade block for like the last half-dozen seasons, Ross is still on the Magic. But in a recent chat with Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel, Ross made it pretty clear he doesn’t want to be (h/t NBC Sports).
“We’re definitely in different spots,” Ross said. “I feel like I’m a part of that old regime, and they’re going in a different direction. I don’t know what they’ve got in store for me. It’s hard to say. They don’t really let me know too much about what they’re doing so. I’m kind of here just along for the ride.”
When asked if he planned on having conversations with the Magic’s front office about wanting to be traded, Ross responded: “They know that. They’re well aware of that, so there’s no point. They’re going to do what they want to do regardless.”
Ross is a player the Lakers have consistently been linked to as recently as this past trade deadline and dating as far back as 2015 when he was in Toronto. At 6’6, he at least theoretically fits the mold of a 3-and-D wing, which has made him desired by teams for many seasons. Rather inexplicably, the Magic have continued to hang onto him throughout all that interest.
Last season, Ross averaged 10 points per game in 63 games, and saw his shooting percentages drop across the board (including only knocking down 29.2% of his attempts from beyond the arc). Still, he’s a career 36.1% 3-point shooter. Part of his drop in percentage could be attached to a dip in shot attempts and minutes overall last season.
He’s also still capable of some scoring outbursts, with a pair of 30-point games last year. The decrease in minutes and overall production could likely be tied to the Magic embracing their latest rebuild.
Purely on paper, trading Talen Horton-Tucker for Terrence Ross works under the CBA, and gives the Magic a much younger player to take a chance on. It would also give the Lakers a wing that fits much better alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis and potentially ballhandler that the Lakers could bring in via a Russell Westbrook trade.
With the Lakers lacking any wings, and those hard to come by on veteran minimum deals that the Lakers will likely predominantly only be able to offer once again this summer, trading for one like Ross — who, again, is listed at 6’6” — could be a solution to the issue.
Whether the team acquires Ross will remain to be seen, but given their constant interest in him and his open desire for the Magic to send him elsewhere, expect his name to be mentioned once again this summer as trade talks for him begin to heat up.