The Los Angeles Lakers have been an inconsistent team this year, and they haven't had the sort of stellar regular season one would expect from a championship contender. There's no doubt that the team must improve to actually reach their goals of winning the 2021-22 championship.
One possible way for the team to improve would be via trade. While the Los Angeles Lakers don't have a ton of flexibility, they could potentially offer packages featuring Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn. Here are 5 players that they could potentially get.
5. Evan Fournier
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Evan Fournier
New York Knicks Receive: Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn
The New York Knicks have had an inconsistent season, and are currently the 11th seed. Perhaps it could be best for them to move off of their veterans, and acquire some young players they can develop.
Talen Horton-Tucker could be the team's long-term solution at point guard. On the New York Knicks, he would get the opportunity to develop, and the team would have a nice young core featuring him, RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and Obi Toppin. On the Los Angeles Lakers, Talen Horton-Tucker hasn't had the opportunity to show what he can do on offense, but in New York, that could change. Kendrick Nunn could potentially be a rotation option and help them make the play-in tournament when he gets healthy.
Evan Fournier is currently averaging 13.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 1.7 APG this season, and he is shooting 38.9% from beyond the arc. He could definitely contribute to the Los Angeles Lakers with his shooting and would be a perfect complementary offensive option next to LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis.
4. Eric Gordon
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Eric Gordon
Houston Rocket Receive: Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn
The Houston Rockets are currently rebuilding and trying to get another lottery pick. Eric Gordon is currently on a long-term deal and doesn't fit the timeline of players like Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun. It is definitely in the team's interest to move him.
This trade would get the Houston Rockets another young prospect in Talen Horton-Tucker. He could potentially thrive in a three-guard lineup with Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green, or become a solid 6th man and get his offensive touches that way. The Rockets wouldn't really have a use for Kendrick Nunn, so in this scenario, Nunn's contract would be the salary filler to get this deal done.
Eric Gordon is a combo guard that can score well while also being a ballhandler and playmaking for others. Eric Gordon is currently averaging 14.6 PPG, 2.0 RPG, and 3.2 APG. He is also shooting 44.5% from the 3PT range. Gordon would definitely be a good fit on the team as a 6th man, and there's no question that the Lakers could use a player with his skillset.
3. Gary Trent Jr.
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Gary Trent Jr.
Toronto Raptors Receive: Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, 2027 first-round pick
In this scenario, the Toronto Raptors would get Talen Horton-Tucker and a draft pick in order to build for the future. This would also allow Gary Trent Jr. to go to a contending team.
With shooters like OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet surrounding him, Talen Horton-Tucker would be able to play to his strengths and slash to the rime. He could potentially be a solid backcourt partner for him in the future. Kendrick Nunn could help the Raptors this season in particular if he gets healthy, as they are in a position to be in the play-in tournament.
Gary Trent Jr. would give the Los Angeles Lakers some perimeter offense and shot creation. He is currently putting up 17.0 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 2.0 APG and is a stellar shooter (38.2% from the 3PT range). There is no doubt that Gary Trent Jr. would be a good either as a 6th man or a starter, and his presence would improve their offense.
2. Norman Powell
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Norman Powell
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, 2026 first-round pick
The Portland Trail Blazers are currently the 10th seed in the Western Conference, but Damian Lillard will be out for quite some time. Perhaps it would be wise for the team to move on from Norman Powell's contract to get some assets and a young player they could develop in this re-tool year, while they aim to get a high draft pick.
Talen Horton-Tucker would provide some slashing and guard defense for the Portland Trail Blazers. He would be a solid option for the Portland Trail Blazers in the future, especially if Damian Lillard and/or CJ McCollum get traded. He and Anfernee Simons could be their backcourt of tomorrow. Kendrick Nunn would need to get healthy, but he could help the team retain their 10th seeded position and be the last play-in team.
Norman Powell's off-ball game and slashing would definitely help the Los Angeles Lakers. He is an athletic guard who can also score from 3PT range at a high level. As far as guard targets go, he'd be an amazing option. Currently, Norman Powell is putting up 18.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 2.1 APG, and shooting 39.% from beyond the arc.
1. Jerami Grant
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Jerami Grant
Detroit Pistons Receive: Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, Trevor Ariza, 2026 first-round pick
Jerami Grant would definitely be a dream target for the Los Angeles Lakers. He is a two-way forward that can guard the opponent's best player, while still scoring at a respectable level.
It was previously reported that the Los Angeles Lakers offered a package featuring Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, and a first-round pick to the Detroit Pistons previously, but obviously the Pistons haven't accepted. That could change at the trade deadline.
The Pistons are obviously looking for a capable guard who can be a backcourt partner to Cade Cunningham. Perhaps Talen Horton-Tucker can be that player, and he'd slot into the starting slot immediately. Cade Cunningham's shooting ability would definitely help Talen Horton-Tucker. Kendrick Nunn wouldn't necessarily play for the team and would likely just hit free agency at the end of the season.
Detroit Pistons would help the Los Angeles Lakers in all areas, and his ability to score would take away some pressure from the Lakers' stars. He would also shore up the defense. While it's obvious that the Los Angeles Lakers might not get him, Jerami Grant would fit on the team like a glove.