The Lakers are set to acquire Patrick Beverley from the Jazz in exchange for Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Both teams have long been anticipated to make big trades this summer. For now, both teams make a smaller deal. Perhaps we are closer to them realizing trades for their respective All-Stars in Russell Westbrook and Donovan Mitchell.
Below is a look at the at the trade between the Lakers and Jazz means for both franchises.
What it means for the Lakers
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The Lakers make a much-needed defensive upgrade to their backcourt by swapping Horton-Tucker for Beverley. While both players’ salaries aren’t too far apart, Horton-Tucker’s alone falls just $75,000 short of matching Beverley’s straight up. This explains the inclusion of Johnson and his minimum salary since he may not have seen minutes for the Lakers anyways following the additions of Lonnie Walker IV, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Troy Brown Jr.
The Lakers and Jazz were previously reported as potential trade partners with Beverley heading to Los Angeles, according to HoopsHype’s own Michael Scotto. The Lakers were in negotiations as a potential third team in the Mitchell to New York trade discussions with frameworks including Westbrook to Utah and several other Jazz players like Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Malik Beasley also going to Los Angeles. With the Lakers and Jazz making a deal already, it’s possible those three-team talks are dead.
The Lakers’ luxury tax payment goes up incrementally following this deal, but that could change by a potential Westbrook trade. While Beverley could play both guard positions, his arrival could indicate that the Lakers are getting closer to trading Westbrook. With Kevin Durant committed to Brooklyn, it appears Kyrie Irving will remain with the Nets for now. One option that could still be available for the Lakers includes trading Westbrook and draft picks to the Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield.
The Lakers lost a ton of 2023 cap space after extending LeBron James last week but were still in a position to generate around $20 million. Now that they got Horton-Tucker’s $11 million player option off their books, that projection rises to nearly $30 million. Their cap space could get eliminated if they extend Beverley or trade Westbrook for players and also extend them.
What it means for the Jazz
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The Jazz continue to move off veterans now that they are beginning a rebuild. Instead of draft equity, they take a flier on Horton-Tucker, who is only about to turn 22. He has two years, $21.3 million remaining on his deal, including a player option worth $11 million for 2023-24. Utah is now $8.5 million below the luxury tax and generates a $2.7 million trade exception. Utah still has a $9.8 million and $9.6 million trade exception.
The Jazz could lose a sizable chunk of 2023 cap space by acquiring Horton-Tucker if he opts in for next season, but Utah is projected to generate just over $30 million currently. That figure could increase further if they trade Mitchell for a package based on draft picks instead of players with long-term salaries.
Despite their activity after being dormant for a while, it’s unclear if this means that they are closer to trading Mitchell. Utah is reportedly back in negotiations with the Knicks, but both teams remain patiently at a standstill.
Source: Yahoo Sports