The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly nearing a deal to trade Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz for Patrick Beverley. It ends a tumultuous tenure for THT in Los Angeles — one that had really high highs and really low lows.
The Los Angeles Lakers are in advanced talks on a trade to acquire Utah Jazz guard Patrick Beverley for Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson, sources tell ESPN. Deal could be finalized as soon as Thursday.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 25, 2022
After once being seen as an untouchable piece in a Kyle Lowry trade years ago, THT is now part of a package in a trade to bring in a veteran point guard in Beverley. It’s a drastic fall from grace for a player that once was seen as the promising future of the franchise.
However, it’s hard to argue with the results from last season when Horton-Tucker was a shell of himself even this early in his career. The Lakers front office and coaching staff did him no favors with the roster around him and the rotations he was used in. Still, his inability to develop a reliable jumper severely hindered his development, especially when tasked so often with playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
As for Beverley, the seeds have long been sowed for him to make his way back to Los Angeles, this time wearing purple and gold. Back in May, Beverley said he “wouldn’t even hesitate” at the idea of teaming up with LeBron James.
After celebrating his
Game 7 play-in game win with the Timberwolves last season, Beverley was shipped to Utah as part of the Rudy Gobert trade. With the Jazz focused on rebuilding, swapping a veteran point guard for a lottery ticket in THT makes a lot of sense.
The inclusion of Stanley Johnson was necessary from a financial standpoint to match salaries. Interestingly, though, it opens another roster spot.
Talen Horton-Tucker's salary fell just short of matching for Patrick Beverley straight up, thus the inclusion of Stanley Johnson.— Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) August 25, 2022
Lakers gain a roster spot while keeping their luxury tax situation neutral, though that could change with a Russ trade. https://t.co/lNbzwPgjGU
With a deal like Russell Westbrook for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner or other two-for-one deals that could be built around his massive contract, opening up an extra roster spot in this deal could be the first domino to fall ahead of a separate deal.
Hilariously, as the roster stands, Beverley and Westbrook being on the same roster is a ticking time bomb. The two are longtime enemies of one another — including last season in Minnesota when the two exchanged words — and it’s hard to imagine them being on the same roster when the season starts, only further adding fuel to the fire that Westbrook could be dealt.
The Lakers just traded Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson for Patrick Beverley.— SB Nation (@SBNation) August 25, 2022
Russell Westbrook is still in LA.
And Patrick Beverley and Russell Westbrook have BEEF https://t.co/Awz17jfXjf
Stylistically, Beverley makes a lot of sense as a point guard next to LeBron. For his career, Beverley is a 37.8% 3-point shooter and while his shooting dipped to 34.3% from range last season, he shot 38.5% on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers last year. In the year prior, he was a 41.4% shooter in the same situations and catch-and-shoot jumpers have been a strength throughout his entire career with last season being the outlier.
His defense, meanwhile, has been his calling card throughout his career. He’s a three-time All-Defensive Team honoree, the most recent of those coming in the 2019-20 season. For a Lakers team that greatly lacked shooting and defense, landing a strong spot-up shooter and a feisty defender in Beverley is a great move.
That’s especially true if it’s the first move in a set of them, which feels like it could be the case.