NBA Rumors: Lakers Could Acquire Devonte’ Graham For Montrezl Harrell In Newly Proposed Trade Idea

At this point in the 2020-21 season, the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are second in the Western Conference with a 17-6 record. The Charlotte Hornets, on the other hand, have made noticeable improvements in the East thanks to this year’s No. 3 overall draft pick, LaMelo Ball, and free-agent addition Gordon Hayward. Given the former team’s lack of depth at point guard and the latter’s perceived weakness down low, a recently proposed trade idea suggested that the two clubs can engage in a deal that would send Devonte’ Graham to Los Angeles and Montrezl Harrell to Charlotte.

As recommended by NBA Analysis Network on Thursday, the Lakers could acquire Graham as part of a package that also includes backup guard Malik Monk, veteran center Bismack Biyombo, and a top-five protected first-rounder in the 2022 draft. The Hornets, meanwhile, would receive Harrell and reserve wingman Talen Horton-Tucker.

According to the outlet, the hypothetical transaction would also give the Lakers an additional outside shooter who could provide spacing alongside the superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It was also suggested that Graham could replace Dennis Schroder in the starting lineup, with the latter possibly transitioning to a sixth-man role.

“Dennis Schroder has started every game for the Lakers this season is playing well but having more of a spot-up threat in the lineup like Devonte’ Graham could generate even better results. Los Angeles could benefit from having Schroder make plays as the leader of the bench group, even if Schroder isn’t a fan of that role.”

The site also opined that the Lakers, with their present roster, look like a team that doesn’t need anyone else to help them win a second consecutive title. However, Graham might turn out to be a “better fitting piece” that could improve their chances of repeating if the trade pushes forward.

As shown on his Basketball-Reference player page, Graham is off to a bit of a slow start this season after a breakout sophomore campaign last year. In 22 games, the 25-year-old is averaging 14.5 points, three rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.1 steals as the Hornets’ starting point guard. He is, however, shooting only 34.4 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from beyond the arc and has yet to register a field-goal shooting clip of more than 40 percent in his three professional seasons.

Prior to Harrell joining the Lakers, the Hornets were among the teams that were rumored to be in the running for his services in free agency during the 2020 offseason. If Charlotte acquires him via the proposed deal, he could give the club a reliable scorer under the basket and fix the supposed imbalance in their lineup. Although he currently comes off the bench, NBA Analysis Network further described Harrell as a “starting-caliber big man” who could also improve the Hornets’ rebounding and interior defense.

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