NBA Rumors: LA Lakers Could Land Garrett Temple For Wesley Matthews, Alfonzo McKinnie & Two Second-Rounders

Garrett Temple posing after scoring two points
Gettyimages | Emilee Chinn
Basketball

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the legitimate title contenders that are expected to be aggressive on the market before the 2021 trade deadline. In most rumors involving the Purple and Gold, they are frequently mentioned targeting a big man who could fill the hole left by JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard in their frontcourt. However, according to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, the Lakers are better off targeting a player who could help them address their need for "shooting and creation."

Garrett Temple To Lakers

Garrett Temple demanding the ball
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox

In one of his most recent articles, Favale shared a list of trades that every NBA contender should make before the March 25 deadline. For the reigning NBA champions, it's the deal that would enable them to acquire veteran shooting guard Garrett Temple from the Chicago Bulls.

In the proposed trade scenario, the Lakers would be sending a package that includes Wesley Matthews, Alfonzo McKinnie, a 2023 second-round pick, and a 2024 second-round pick to the Bulls in exchange for Temple.

Garrett Temple An Upgrade Over Wesley Matthews

Though it would also cost them two future second-round selections, swapping Matthews for Temple would make a lot of sense for the Lakers. The Lakers signed Matthews in the 2020 free agency with the hope that he could cover the spot left by Danny Green and Avery Bradley in their wing.

Unfortunately, as of now, Matthews has been a disappointment. Though they are the same age, Temple would still be an upgrade over Matthews and is more capable of addressing their need for another reliable scorer and shot creator. This season, he's averaging 8.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists while shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Lakers Add Wing Defender

The potential acquisition of Temple wouldn't only help the Lakers improve their performance on the offensive end, but also their defense. As Favale noted, Temple would give the Lakers the player who could be saddled with "bigger-wing assignments."

"Even if Matthews' shooting normalizes, Temple is more likely to stand up against bigger and stronger wings. Chicago hasn't hesitated to throw him at everyone from point guards to Jayson Tatum. L.A. is also carving out a smidge more room under the hard cap with this trade."

Proposed Deal A No-Brainer For The Bulls

Meanwhile, though they would be the ones losing the best player in the deal, it's hard to see the Bulls passing on such a trade. With the team still in the middle of the rebuilding process, keeping a 34-year-old veteran like Temple no longer makes sense. Instead of letting him walk away in the 2021 free agency without getting anything in return, they are better off moving his expiring contract before the 2021 trade deadline.

By sending him to Los Angeles, the Bulls would be receiving two future draft assets that they could use to add more talented prospects to their roster.