Lakers finalizing trade to send Talen Horton-Tucker, Stanley Johnson to Jazz for Patrick Beverley, per report


The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to finalize a trade that will send Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Patrick Beverley, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. No picks will be involved in the deal from either team.

Beverley was dealt to the Jazz from the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this summer in the blockbuster Rudy Gobert trade. But with the Jazz beginning on a rebuild — Donovan Mitchell may be traded at some point this offseason as well — Beverley was a prime candidate to be rerouted to another team.

A veteran and one of the toughest perimeter defenders in the league, Beverley makes much more sense on this Lakers roster. The Lakers had all sorts of issues last season as they finished 33-49 and missed out on the playoffs, but few were bigger than their inability to stop anyone; they allowed 112.8 points per 100 possessions, which was 21st in the league. Some of that was due to injuries and some of it was poor roster construction, but regardless of where you want to place most of the blame the key fact is that they just weren’t good enough defensively.

Beverley won’t solve all of their issues, but he will singlehandedly make them tougher and better on the defensive side of the ball. He’s also a reliable 3-point shooter — 38.5 percent on catch-and-shoot attempts last season — who can help space the floor around LeBron James and offers some additional playmaking. Though he isn’t the most exciting addition, he’s the type of solid role player the Lakers were missing last season.

For much of the summer, the league has been in limbo waiting for the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving situations to get sorted out. With both of those players now seemingly staying in Brooklyn, it will be interesting to see if the proverbial dam breaks and more moves follow this Beverley trade.

The Lakers’ desire to send out Russell Westbrook is no secret and now that Beverley is in town they have someone who can take his place in the starting lineup. Of course, to do that they have to find another team that’s willing to take Westbrook and that has proven difficult to this point. Still, that’s a situation to watch closely over the next few weeks if some more dominoes start falling.

There’s not quite as much to discuss from Utah’s side of things. Danny Ainge started a tear down with the Gobert trade and there was no reason to keep Beverley around as they join the race to the bottom for Victor Wembanyama. They’ll get a look at another young player in Horton-Tucker who has shown some flashes as an interesting defense-first role player but has not been consistent at all on the offensive end. If they can develop him into a part of their core for the future, great; if not, no big deal.

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