A certain Utah Jazz guard who was long rumored to be traded is finally on the move.
Patrick Beverley will be missed.
As Donovan Mitchell’s situation lingers, the Jazz have at least turned a veteran reluctant to play for a young, rebuilding and seemingly becoming a flawed young prospect, agreeing to send Beverley to the Los Angeles Lakers for 21 years- old shooter Talen Horton-Tucker.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the trade, which was later reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Wojnarowski said the deal will be completed Thursday morning and will also include veteran forward Stanley Johnson coming to the Jazz. No choices will be included in the offer.
Beverley leaves the Jazz without ever playing a game for them, arriving this summer as part of Utah’s comeback from the Timberwolves in Rudy Gobert’s trade.
The Jazz now face ‘THT’, who wooed the team enough to give him a three-year deal worth around $30.78 million last year, but quickly fell out of favor with fans. Lakers led by LeBron James and oriented veterans this past season, due to a campaign that saw him shooting just 41.6% from the floor and 26.9% from 3s, while generally failing to progress in other key areas of its development.
Horton-Tucker was an intriguing prospect after playing just one season at Iowa State and was the youngest player in the 2019 NBA Draft.
He stands 6ft 4in, with a wingspan of 7-1, and was thought to have guarding abilities combined with the potential to become a defensive force.
He was selected No. 46 overall — technically by the Orlando Magic, but as part of a prior deal with the Lakers, who were looking to add young development-type prospects to their roster.
Because the Lakers were, as usual, in a tough cap situation, they could initially only sign THT to a two-year contract. He barely played in his rookie season – appearing in just six NBA games.
However, the progress he showed as a sophomore — averaging 9.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game — put the Lakers in a tough spot, as they risked letting him go for nothing after the season, as a former second. -Round pick.
Instead, they’ve bet on his continued development, with the idea that he could enter the 2021-22 season as a starting shot-stopper. It didn’t work that way.
He started 19 of the 60 games he appeared in, but the Lakers ended up regretting paying him off at the expense of re-signing 3rd pillar and D Alex Caruso, who joined the Bulls instead. Horton-Tucker, meanwhile, found himself increasingly supplanted in the rotation by players like low-cost free-agent signing Malik Monk, and even undrafted rookie Austin Reaves.
His abyssal shot proved a major obstacle; that, combined with drops in points, rebounds, assists, and steals by 36 (not to mention his general lack of defensive impact) ended up making him expendable.
Heading into the next training camp, Horton-Tucker found himself firmly behind Reaves, Kendrick Nunn, Lonnie Walker and maybe even Troy Brown among LA’s guard and wing options.
Now first-year coach Will Hardy will have at least one season to see what he can do with Horton-Tucker — the guard’s contract third season is a player option.
In the meantime, the Jazz never got to see Beverley dress for them.
While the 34-year-old defensive nuisance has publicly expressed his willingness to show up at Utah and play for the Jazz, he has also clarified that his preference is only to do so if the team retains Mitchell and remains committed. to be playoff caliber. team competing for a championship.
The Jazz, clearly, is not on that trajectory at the moment.
And so, they made him a solid and sent him to a team eager for his services – and one where he had also expressed an interest in playing.
During a brief stint as an analyst at ESPN earlier this year while still under contract with Wolves, Beverley expressed a desire to one day team up with James.
Then, when Charania broke the news that the Lakers vs. Clippers first game of the 2022-23 NBA season will be on Oct. 20, Beverley tweeted it with a praying hands emoji.
He finally got his wish.
Meanwhile, if Johnson is indeed included in the deal, he could help balance a roster that remains heavy at the moment.
The former lottery pick was selected No. 8 overall by the Arizona Pistons in the 2015 draft, but never lived up to the hype.
Indeed, last season he was barely hanging on in the league, signing a 10-day contract with the Bulls as a COVID replacement player and then doing the same with the Lakers two weeks later.
However, his defensive tenacity and versatility quickly endeared him to the Lakers coaching staff, and after fulfilling three separate 10-day contracts with the team, he was signed for the remainder of the season – a deal which included a team option for 2022-23. , which the Lakers recovered before free agency.
He’s never been a big threat from the 3-point line – his mark of 31.4% last season actually representing an improvement over his career number – but he has improved his efficiency on the inside considerably of the arc with the Lakers, hitting 57.5 percent there as opposed to the 44.7 percent he’s had on two-point attempts for his career.
Johnson is 26 and under contract for $2.35 million this season.