NBA executive urges Lakers to pursue Michael Porter Jr. via trade

Orel Dizon
4 Min Read
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have plenty of questions to answer this offseason and may need to find some needed reinforcements via free agency or the trade market.

One Eastern Conference general manager floated Michael Porter Jr. as a possible solution for the Lakers, seeing the Denver Nuggets forward as a good fit.

“If they want to get better, that is who they’d go after,” the general manager told Heavy Sports while speaking on Porter. “They need a gunner who is not afraid to shoot and they’d be much better off if he can be a 3-4 like LeBron [James], if he is not a size mismatch. A knockdown shooter who creates space, that’s the first step to getting them back to contender status again.”

Los Angeles is quite familiar with Porter, having been eliminated by the Nuggets in two straight postseasons. The sharpshooter was a thorn in L.A.’s side in both series.

In the 2023 Western Conference Finals, he put up 15.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game to help Denver complete a sweep. Even though he shot just 40.8 percent from the field, he made arguably his most significant mark from long range, sinking 3.5 triples per contest.

This season, Porter was even better against L.A. and stayed true to his word that he wouldn’t take the Lakers lightly. He recorded 22.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per match in the Nuggets’ 4-1 series victory over the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. He made 4.0 triples per contest during the series.

The 25-year-old marksman was also incredibly efficient from the floor, converting 55.3 percent of his field-goal attempts and 48.8 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.

The University of Missouri product couldn’t maintain his stellar production in the following round when his squad lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves in seven games to fail in its attempt to repeat as a champion. Minnesota’s defense let him reach the 20-point mark just twice in the series, and he failed to score in double digits in the other five games.

Still, the Lakers bringing him in would likely make for an explosive frontcourt on offense. He’d bring some 6-foot-10 help to James and Anthony Davis.

A huge question mark, though, would be on defense, as Porter isn’t exactly known for his ability to put clamps on opponents. Pairing him with James, who is turning 40 in December, at the forward spots could place too much pressure on Davis on the defensive end of the floor.

Moreover, it’s unclear if the Nuggets are planning to move on from their lone lottery selection since the 2018 draft. However, if they want to shed Porter’s massive salary and gain more financial flexibility, Los Angeles could possibly look to get involved.

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