The biggest need for the Los Angeles Lakers as they look to improve the team and make a playoff push is for bigger wings who can defend and shoot. The team has been shopping around for players who can do that and one who is known to be available is Jae Crowder of the Phoenix Suns.
Before the season began, Crowder and the Suns agreed for him to step away from the team while they look for a trade as he was unhappy at being moved to a bench role. But two months into the season, a deal has yet to be finalized despite the interest in the veteran, and the Lakers are reportedly at least inquiring about him.
According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, the Lakers are one of the teams who are interested in acquiring Crowder before the trade deadline:
Phoenix was close to sending him to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-way deal with the Rockets. Talks extended to include the Warriors, but nothing came of it. Other teams believed to be interested include the Heat, Hawks and Lakers.
The Lakers’ interest in Crowder makes a lot of sense as he fits a lot of the needs of the team. At 6-foot-6 and a listed 235 pounds, he has the size and strength to deal with the bigger wings that are around the league. He understands his role as a defender and enforcer and is a solid, albeit streaky, shooter who at least must be respected from deep.
Additionally, he has experience on the biggest stages the NBA has to offer, making the NBA Finals both with the Miami Heat in 2020 and the Suns in 2021. The question now is whether the Lakers are able to put together the right package to get the deal done.
The Lakers are reportedly focused on deals featuring a package of Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn, but even Beverley’s salary alone is more than Crowder’s which is approximately $10 million, meaning Phoenix would have to add another player to make the money match. As is the case with any potential Lakers deal, the protections on the potential first-round picks would likely decide whether or not a deal comes together.
Patrick Beverley would prefer Timberwolves return if traded & bought out
Beverley and Nunn are the names reportedly being shopped most by the Lakers and the former might already have his eyes on where he would like to wind up should a deal ultimately come to fruition.
Recent reports note that if Beverley is traded to a team in a rebuilding situation and is then bought out, he would prefer to return to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Last season, Beverley had one of the best seasons of his career and played a huge role in Minnesota making a run to the playoffs.
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