Patrick Beverley trades grades: Lakers get ‘B’ as they bolster defense and send Talen Horton-Tucker to Jazz

The Los Angeles Lakers have finalized a trade that sends Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Patrick Beverley. according to Adrian Wojnarowski. No picks will be included in the deal by either team.

Beverley was traded to the Jazz from the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this summer in the successful Rudy Gobert trade. But with the Jazz undertaking a rebuild — star guard Donovan Mitchell could be traded at some point this offseason as well — Beverley was a prime candidate to be reassigned to another team.

A veteran and one of the toughest perimeter defenders in the league, Beverley makes a lot more sense on this Lakers roster. The Lakers had all kinds of problems last season as they finished 33-49 and missed the playoffs, but few of them were bigger than their inability to stop anyone; they allowed 112.8 points per 100 possessions, which was 21st in the league. Some of that was due to injuries and some of that was poor roster construction, but regardless of where you want to place most of the blame, the bottom line is that they just weren’t good enough defensively.

Beverley won’t solve all their problems, but it will single-handedly make them tougher and better on the defensive side of the ball. He’s also a reliable 3-point shooter — 38.5 percent on catch-and-shoot attempts last season — who can help space around LeBron James and provide some extra play. While he’s not the most exciting addition, he’s the type of solid role player the Lakers lacked last season.

For most of the summer, the league has been in limbo waiting for the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving situations to be resolved. With both of these players now seemingly staying in Brooklyn, it will be interesting to see if the proverbial dam breaks and more moves follow this Beverley trade.

The Lakers’ desire to send Russell Westbrook is no secret, and now that Beverley is in town they have someone who can take his place in the starting lineup. Of course, to do that they need to find another team willing to take Westbrook, which has proven difficult up until this point. However, this is a situation to watch closely over the coming weeks if a few more dominoes start to fall.

There’s not much to discuss on the Utah side. Danny Ainge started a breakout with the Gobert trade and there was no reason to keep Beverley around as they joined the race all the way down and Victor Wembanyama was expected to come no. 1. They’ll be looking at another young player in Horton-Tucker, who has shown some flashes as an interesting defensive-first player but hasn’t been consistent at all on the offensive end. If they can develop it into part of their core for the future, great; if not, no big deal.

Trade notes

Lakers: Beverley is a solid addition for the Lakers, as he will bring an intensity and tenacity — especially on the defensive end — that the team simply lacked last season. It also provides them with added security at the point guard position given the uncertainty surrounding Westbrook’s future with the franchise. If Westbrook is eventually traded, Beverley could step into the vacant starting spot. Or, if he’s just having an off night and Darvin Ham wants to go in a different direction, Beverley offers the coach another viable option. It will be interesting to see how well Westbrook and Beverley are able to coexist in the locker room, as they have both issues in the past.

While Beverley’s impact will probably be felt most on the defensive end, he also projects as a solid fit in LA on the other end. He’s not the type of player who needs to have a lot of games for him to be effective, which is good because the Lakers already have a few of those. Plus, as a career 37 percent shooter from long range, Beverley will be able to open up space around James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers were hesitant to move Horton-Tucker in the past, but in Beverley they got a player who is better equipped to contribute on a team under a lot of pressure to make a playoff run. Horton-Tucker may prove to be the better player in the long run, but the Lakers are in win-now mode, which is why the move was made. rank: B

Jazz: The Jazz are one trade of Donovan Mitchell away from being in the midst of a full rebuild, so it makes sense for them to return a familiar veteran to Beverley for a young player in 21-year-old Horton-Tucker, who potentially there are still some advantages. He averaged 10 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 25.2 minutes per game for the Lakers last season — numbers that could possibly improve in an expanded role on a rebuilding Jazz team. The Lakers have been high on Horton-Tucker for quite some time, and now the Jazz will hope he continues to improve.

Stanley Johnson is a useful role player, but it remains to be seen how big a role he will have in Utah. He mostly feels like a throw-in to the deal. Basically, Utah got a player who could potentially fit into their long-term plans in exchange for a player who didn’t. rank: B-

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