With the NBA season approaching, teams are looking to make roster updates. The Lakers acquire Patrick Beverley in a trade, giving up Stanley Johnson and Talen Horton-Tucker to the Utah Jazz.
After negotiations, Utah Jazz point guard Patrick Beverley is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers. Beverley had a productive season last year for the Minnesota Timberwolves, notching 9.2 points per game, 4.6 assists per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, and 1.2 steals per game. The Timberwolves ended up making the play-in tournament after a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers and put up a fight against the fan-favorite Memphis Grizzlies. Beverley held Memphis star, Ja Morant, to only 21.5 points per game during the series. Morant averaged 27.4 points per game that season and the Grizzlies won the series 4-2.
In a star-studded Lakers roster, Beverley looks to add grit and hustle. The 34-year-old veteran has not always had the chance to play in the NBA. Playing overseas in Ukraine, Greece, and Russia before earning an NBA spot, Beverley adds a unique perspective to the Lakers team. The Lakers are filled with stars, with three number one draft picks in LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Dwight Howard. Additionally, Beverley’s focus is on defense, which the Lakers need desperately. Last season, the Lakers allowed an average of 115.1 points to be scored on them per game, the third highest for any team in the league.
Horton-Tucker and Johnson
The Lakers give up two key roster pieces in order to acquire Beverley: Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson. 21-year-old Talen Horton-Tucker added 10 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game, and 2.7 assists per game last year for the Lakers. The shooting guard provided reliable scoring off the bench for the Lakers, which will be missed.
Stanley Johnson is another player the Lakers have traded. The 26-year-old averaged 6.7 points per game last season on the Lakers. He did so efficiently, earning an effective field goal percentage of 53%. Overall, the Lakers have given up two key young players for the defensive benefits of Beverley.
Westbrook and Beverley
Back in 2013, the Oklahoma City Thunder played the Houston Rockets in round one of the Playoffs. In that game, Beverley injured Russell Westbrook’s knee. Westbrook has had multiple surgeries on the knee over the years and has had harsh clashes with Beverley ever since. But, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has stated that he wants Westbrook and Beverley on the court at the same time.
Overall, this trade gives the Lakers defensive backup, but causes them to lose important young players. We’ll see if Westbrook and Beverley clash, or if Beverley can elevate the Lakers to contenders.
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Featured image courtesy of David Berding/Getty Images
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