It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers have a point guard problem. Rajon Rondo has regressed after a good shooting start and is a net negative on the roster. Avery Bradley is an offensive zero. Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have been valuable role players but have significant limitations.
As a result, the Lakers are expected to be busy looking for reinforcements in the backcourt, namely in the form of guards who can handle the ball and make plays for others.
One such name is D.J. Augustin, the Orlando Magic point guard who has become more of an afterthought due to Markelle Fultz’a continued improvement. According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, Augustin is a target the Lakers have shown interest in:
The Lakers have inquired about a number of potential veteran backup point guards and one potential target could come onto the trade market in the coming weeks: Orlando guard D.J. Augustin. The Lakers can’t trade a second-round pick until 2023, but the team does have rookie Talen Horton-Tucker, originally drafted by Orlando before he was traded to the Lakers, on hand.
Augustin is averaging 10.6 points and 4.8 assists per game while only turning the ball over 1.3 times a night. However, he’s only shooting 39.4 percent from the field and 33.9 percent from behind the arc.
The more important issue is the Lakers’ lack of assets for any trade. They have some tradeable contracts, namely the three million dollars owed to Quinn Cook. But they have no first round picks they can move and don’t have a second round pick until 2023. Kyle Kuzma and Taken Horton-Tucker are young players that other teams will be interested in but moving one of them for a backup point guard who may or may not move the needle may be short-sighted and ineffective.
Augustin won’t break the bank but you have to wonder what the Lakers have that the Magic would want in order to make the trade worthwhile. Perhaps a single second round pick will be enough. It’s an important exercise in coming up with any trades for backup guards or wings.
It’s probably more likely that the Lakers find their reinforcements through the buyout and free agent markets. That potentially includes Darren Collison, the former Pacers guard who is reportedly aiming for a comeback after retiring this off-season and could be choosing between the Lakers and Clippers.
The Lakers will probably play it cautiously until the February trade deadline. There is a chance that they find a trade that will improve before then. But they don’t want to move Kuzma and if they can find help without moving their few remaining trade assets then that is preferred.