Patrick Beverley appears to be the marquee trade for the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason, and he figures to have a prominent role on the team during the 2022-23 season.
Beverley admitted he didn’t expect to get traded to Los Angeles, but now that he’s here, he will be tasked with helping get the team back to the postseason. When listening to head coach Darvin Ham talk about what he expects to see from the Lakers, it makes complete sense why the Lakers would chase after the veteran guard.
Beverley’s defensive acumen is well-renowned around the league, and with the lack of wings on the roster, it appears Los Angeles plans to use him as their primary defender on those types of players, via Dan Woike of L.A. Times:
Sources said the Lakers hope to use Beverley as a defender against top-level wings, while using a player like Schroder to chase high-movement point guards such as Ja Morant and Stephen Curry. The team, though, will undoubtedly have to use small lineups as currently constructed.
In conjunction with that report, NBA insider Marc Stein reports that the Lakers are viewing the other guards like Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV playing up a spot in addition to Beverley:
With Westbrook poised to remain a Laker when new coach Darvin Ham opens his first training camp as L.A.’s new coach, sources say Beverley is regarded internally by the club as a 3-and-D wing and not as a point guard at this stage of his career. The Lakers, in other words, see Westbrook and Schröder as their point guards as of Sept. 18 … and the likes of Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV as 2s and 3s.
In most scenarios, the Lakers will be playing undersized lineups that could struggle to defend against bigger teams. Beverley is more than capable of guarding wings, but to ask him to do it full-time seems dangerous if he were to ever miss time.
Reaves has reportedly been having an outstanding offseason, and he showed he could credibly guard three positions in a pinch. But viewing Walker as a three seems far-fetched. Ham has emphasized defense since coming to L.A., and how he utilizes his guards will be something to watch when the season begins.
Darvin Ham considering bringing Russell Westbrook off the bench
Russell Westbrook appears set to be on the roster when the new season starts, and Ham has talked up his role as a defense-first player who will be used all over the floor offensively. While he appears penciled in as a starter, Ham is reportedly considering bringing him off the bench.
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