Report: The Spurs and Lakers have discussed trade for veteran sharpshooter
By Cal Durrett
Following a string of embarrassing shooting performances to start the season, the Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly reached out to the San Antonio Spurs for reinforcements. According to Shams Charania (subscription required), the Spurs and Lakers have held discussions about sharpshooter Josh Richardson. Richardson has had a hot start to the season, including draining five threes off the bench in the Spurs' win against the Indiana Pacers.
However, he's on an expiring contract and potentially valuable to playoff teams with his shooting and defensive ability. Adding Richardson could help the Lakers solve some of their shooting woes, but is sure to cost them since the Spurs know that they're desperate and Richardson has thrived playing in a larger role. That said, what would a Lakers-Spurs trade involving Richardson look like?
Despite Russell Westbrook's poor play, the Lakers seem reluctant to trade him because it would cost them two future unprotected first-round picks. Instead, they appear more willing to make a smaller trade to help their team while saving one of their remaining tradeable future picks. Thus the Lakers' interest in Richardson.
Unfortunately for them, they have few expendable players that they can move, not including Westbrook. Worse yet, they'll likely have to wait until December 15th to make a trade since most of their players were signed as free agents this past off-season. Despite that, Kendrick Nunn and Lonnie Walker appear to be the most likely trade options for the Lakers.
That would require the Spurs to either waive a player such as Romeo Langford or get a third team involved, but either is doable. The Spurs, of course, know Walker well since he spent the first four seasons of his career in San Antonio before signing with the Lakers in June. They let him leave in free agency for a reason, but reacquiring him for the remainder of the season in exchange for a future first is worth it.
Meanwhile, Nunn is a talented offensive player who's working his way back from a year-long absence due to injury. He might not help the Lakers as much as Richardson will right now, but he could be flipped again later for a second-round pick.
Charania did note that the Lakers have other options, including the Hornets and the Pacers. So a deal is far from a certainty, but Richardson's two-way play should put him near the top of the Lakers' wish list. We'll have to wait and see whether the Spurs ultimately deal Richardson to the Lakers, but the chances that a deal eventually gets done seem fair.