The Los Angeles Lakers are not off to a hot start in the 2022-23 season.
Amidst all the offseason drama regarding Westbrook, the Lakers were confident another offseason would help their “Big 3” figure it out.
That has not been the case.
Westbrook still looks out of place in the purple and gold.
He is averaging 10.3 points per game on 28.9% from the field and 8.3% from three.
If the Lakers don’t move Westbrook this season, they will be punting on another season with James at the helm.
There is a common theme amongst the three trade targets listed in this article – shooting.
LA was in the league’s bottom half last year in three-point makes, three-point attempts, and three-point shooting percentage.
That trend has mostly carried over into this year.
Lakers 3-point shooting this season
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) October 26, 2022
While they have jumped to sixth in three-point attempts, they are dead last in the other two stats.
Amongst players who have appeared in all three games, Austin Reaves leads the team at 28.6% from deep.
A team with James, Davis, and Westbrook should be littered with shooters, not devoid of them.
Another need is perimeter defense, specifically on the wings.
The Lakers are short on wing defenders outside of James, who tends to give little effort on defense during the regular season.
1. Josh Richardson
Richardson is a capable wing defender with decent size at 6-5, 200 pounds.
He also connected on 41.5% of his 3.8 three-point attempts per game last season.
And to prove it was no fluke, Richardson is connecting on 47.4% of his 4.8 attempts per game to start this year.
Richardson would be an immediate upgrade to the Lakers’ wing rotation.
2. Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon is a similar player to Richardson albeit four years older.
The 6-3, 215-pound shooting guard is a solid two-way contributor capable of defending guards and smaller wings while spacing the floor on offense.
He is currently stuck in a rebuild in Houston and will assuredly be on the trade block this year.
While off to a shaky start to the season, Gordon is a career 37% shooter from deep on 6.3 attempts per game.
There’s a good chance his shooting would improve when surrounded by superior talent with the Lakers.
While Gordon is a bit undersized as a wing, he would immediately provide some scoring punch on the offensive end.
3. Buddy Hield
The 29-year-old wing is in another rebuilding situation in Indiana with the Pacers.
He is one of the league’s most dangerous three-point shooters who hits at a high clip on high volume.
A player the Lakers could desperately use.
True or False:
The Lakers should make a trade for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner pic.twitter.com/Wa8acX1nZ1
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) October 21, 2022
Hield is a nearly 40% shooter for his career on 7.6 attempts per game.
If you dismiss his first two seasons when he was not a full-time contributor, the percentage stays steady while the volume jumps to 9.1 attempts per game.
Hield will not compete for any All-Defensive teams, but he is the best shooter on this list.
The Lakers offense would look vastly different deploying a shooter with Hield’s gravity.