NBA Rumors: LA Lakers Could Acquire Jonas Valanciunas For Harrell, Horton-Tucker & Draft Pick In Proposed Trade

Jonas Valanciunas going up against Dwight Howard
Gettyimages | Harry How
Basketball

The Los Angeles Lakers may be considered as one of the heavy favorites to win the NBA championship title in the 2020-21 NBA season, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they would no longer try to upgrade their roster before the 2021 trade deadline. Like other title contenders, the Lakers are far from being perfect and still have several issues on their roster that they need to address. One of the areas that the Purple and Gold should improve is their frontcourt depth.

Jonas Valanciunas To Lakers

Jonas Valaciunas driving into the basket
Gettyimages | Brett Carlsen

In a recent article, Vincent Frank of Sportsnaut created a list of big men that the Lakers could target on the market before the 2021 trade deadline. One of the most intriguing names on his list is veteran center Jonas Valanciunas of the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies have yet to officially make Valanciunas available on the trading block but given that the 28-year-old Lithuanian clearly doesn't fit the timeline of Ja Morant, there is a huge possibility for him to be moved this season.

Potential Trade Package For Jonas Valanciunas

Jonas Valanciunas smiling while tucking in his jersey
Gettyimages | Brett Carlsen

Once the Grizzlies start listening to offers for their starting center, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka should do everything he can to acquire Valanciunas before the 2021 trade deadline. In Frank's proposed trade scenario, the Lakers would acquire Valanciunas from the Grizzlies by sending them a package that includes Montrezl Harrell, Talen Horton-Tucker, and a future second-round pick. If the deal would push through, it would benefit both the Grizzlies and the Lakers and help them address areas that they need to improve on their roster. 

Lakers Get A Double-Double Machine

Jonas Valanciunas protecting the ball
Gettyimages | Hannah Foslien

Valanciunas may not be on the same level as Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Karl-Anthony Towns, but he would still be an incredible addition to the Lakers. Though he's yet to fully unlock his three-point shooting skills, Valanciunas could provide the Purple and Gold with a walking double-double machine.

"Valanciunas is averaging 15.4 points and 10.3 rebounds on 57% shooting from the field since the start of 2018-19 season," Frank wrote. "Sure his range is limited. His impact might also be limited as the NBA transitions away from traditional centers. Even then, he could provide a lot in spurts."

Why The Trade Makes Sense For Grizzlies

Montrezl Harrell celebrating after an and-1
Gettyimages | Jayne Kamin-Oncea

The Grizzlies would definitely miss Valanciunas' production on both ends of the floor, but they wouldn't be left empty-handed. By sending the Lithuanian center to Hollywood, they would receive a younger frontcourt reinforcement and a reigning Sixth Man of the Year in Harrell, a talented prospect in Horton-Tucker, and a future draft asset.

Horton-Tucker would be an intriguing acquisition for the rebuilding Grizzlies. At 20, he perfectly fits the timeline of Morant. If they grow together and build chemistry, Horton-Tucker and Morant could form an explosive backcourt duo in Memphis.