Down a host of players on Monday, the Lakers were dealt another blow against the Nuggets as Patrick Beverley exited the game with a hip injury. Injuries have tested the Lakers depth at times this season and the Lakers are still looking to address some of those issues on the trade market.
Let’s take a look at the latest reports and rumors.
Patrick Beverley status uncertain
Down a viable starting five of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Lonnie Walker, Austin Reaves and Troy Brown Jr. on Monday, the Lakers watched Patrick Beverley exit the game in the first half after slipping and falling in front of the Nuggets bench. He was diagnosed with a hip injury that head coach Darvin Ham did not have further details on post-game.
“I know it’s his hip, but we won’t know (the severity right now),” Ham said, via Spectrum SportsNet. “Once we get him back to our facility and our people really get the chance to do a deep-dive and look at him then we’ll know. And these things, adrenaline is pumping and you feel one way immediately after the game, and then the next morning is the true, tell-tale sign. So we’ll wait and see what our medical staff says once they evaluate him in the morning.”
With Walker and Reaves already out for at least another week, even the Lakers with their gluttony of guards would start to face some concerns. Excluding two-way guard Scotty Pippen Jr., the Lakers would be down to Dennis Schröder, Max Christie, Kendrick Nunn, and Russell Westbrook as guards if Beverley misses significant time.
Lakers in search of a center
While Thomas Bryant continues to be nothing short of phenomenal this season and particularly since Anthony Davis’ injury, it also underscores just how bad Damian Jones has been. The pair were supposed to battle for a rotation or starting spot in training camp but Bryant’s injury derailed that competition.
But even in his absence, Jones was so woeful he fell out of the rotation when there were basically no other center options. As a result, the team is looking for center help with some of their 10-day contracts coming up, according to longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein.
Anthony Davis was playing more center than ever before he got hurt, and brilliantly so, but the Lakers appear to be exploring the 10-day contract market for big men who have the ability to play beside him when Davis recovers from a stress injury in his right foot. Former All-Star DeMarcus Cousins has already proven he knows how to function well as a frontcourt partner to Davis.
As Stein notes, DeMarcus Cousins was or will be brought in for a workout and could be an option. Regardless of who it is, the Lakers are in search of a big to both help in the time until AD gets back and to help him stay healthy once he returns.
Among those options still in consideration...
Myles Turner turns down contract extension
Myles Turner, to this point, has rebuffed Indiana’s contract extension offers, league sources say. Ditto for Jordan Clarkson in Utah, where sources say the Jazz came into the season hopeful of securing a new long-term deal with Clarkson before he becomes a free agent this summer. There are teams out there naturally hoping that Turner or Clarkson (or both) will be in play for trades before the deadline. I don’t see the Jazz trading Clarkson; Turner’s situation continues to be harder to read.
It certainly makes his future in Indiana even more uncertain with the trade deadline only one month away. However, Turner and the Pacers could still be working on a deal, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.
"Two teams are buyers with their cap space, looking for draft compensation to take on salary. The Spurs are eager to add via trade, while the Pacers are still negotiating an extension with Indiana center Myles Turner. If that stalls, Turner could end up on the trade block again." https://t.co/OEgPmD1Mij— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) January 10, 2023
The difference now versus at the beginning of the season is that the Pacers are actually good whereas they were not projected to be a playoff side. Currently, they are the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and closer to a top-2 seed in the playoffs than out of the play-in spots.
Would they be willing to part with Thruner knowing it could cost them a playoff spot?
Cam Reddish asking price decreases
The Lakers constant pursuit of Cam Reddish has been halted in the last year by an honestly absurd asking price from the Knicks in a trade. But after failing to acquire a first round pick for a player they actively will not play, the Knicks are apparently walking back their asking price, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
The Knicks are willing to part with Reddish for two second-round picks, league sources told HoopsHype. The Lakers, Bucks, and other teams have inquired about the asking price for Reddish, who was shooting a career-high 44.9 percent from the field before being benched, HoopsHype has learned.
Second round picks are something the Lakers do have a good amount of in future years and it could be easier to make a deal. They have an extra second round pick this year and at least one second round pick in ever year moving forward aside from 2026.
It’s also a more reasonable bet to make as second round picks are easier to attain on draft night, as the team has shown in recent years.