As the Los Angeles Lakers prepare to regroup after a difficult 2018-19 season, fans and NBA experts alike are generally expecting the team to explore free agency to find a second superstar to team with LeBron James — and/or to resume their attempts to trade for the New Orleans Pelicans All-NBA forward/center, Anthony Davis. But since expectations don’t always line up with reality, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recently suggested that the Lakers might be better off focusing on a rather surprising, less glamorous target — Portland Trail Blazers backup guard Seth Curry.
On Thursday’s edition of Silver Screen and Roll‘s The 30 podcast, Windhorst appeared alongside podcast host Jas Kang. The ESPN NBA insider talked about a number of Lakers-related topics, including his new book on James, as well as former NBA power forward Juwan Howard’s status as an unlikely betting favorite to coach the Lakers in the 2019-20 season. As cited by Heavy, the conversation also turned to Los Angeles’ free agent options this summer, as Kang asked Windhorst about the chances the Lakers could sign Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, or Klay Thompson in free agency.
After pondering the possibility that the Lakers could target someone like Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins if they can’t sign any of the aforementioned free agents, Windhorst recommended the 28-year-old Curry, whose older brother, Stephen, is far better known as a two-time NBA MVP for the Golden State Warriors.
“For example, a guy who’s a free agent this summer who the Lakers should absolutely target is Seth Curry,” Windhorst continued. “If you go look at the last 10 years, there’s always been an off-guard with LeBron who can shoot… Mo Williams in Cleveland… Mario Chalmers in Miami, then Kyrie Irving is the best example. They were tailor-made to play with each other.”
An undrafted rookie who played his college basketball at Liberty University and Duke, Curry had his best season for the Dallas Mavericks in 2016-17, when he averaged 12.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. He shot 48.1 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from three-point range as the team’s starting point guard, per Basketball-Reference. After missing the entire 2017-18 season due to injury, Curry signed a one-year contract with the Trail Blazers last summer and has been averaging 7.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 0.9 assists in 72 games as a reserve shooting guard. He has also continued to shoot at an impressive clip from beyond the arc, with his three-point shooting percentage at 44.8 percent after 72 games.
???? FINAL SCORE THREAD ????— NBA (@NBA) March 28, 2019
Seth Curry's 20 PTS (8-11 FGM) guides the @trailblazers to a 118-98 victory in Chicago! #RipCity
Rodney Hood: 15 PTS
Enes Kanter: 13 PTS, 6 REB
Zach Collins: 13 PTS
Al-Farouq Aminu: 12 PTS, 11 REB pic.twitter.com/R9S3A3CeOR
Seth Curry wasn’t the only potential signee whom Windhorst recommended as an alternative in case the Los Angeles Lakers miss out on Durant, Irving, Leonard, or Thompson. Per Heavy, Windhorst also suggested that the Lakers could go after someone much flashier and productive, such as Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker. He did, however, warn that Walker might not be an ideal player to suit up alongside LeBron James, due to his lack of height, subpar shooting percentages from the field (42.9 percent) and from three-point range (35.4 percent), and his tendency to “need the ball in his hands.”
“To me, I want somebody playing off-guard [who can] defend perimeter players and can shoot,” Windhorst added.