Report: Lakers showing interest in Mike Conley and Eric Gordon

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t necessarily done making moves after trading for forward Rui Hachimura on Monday.

According to a report by Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, they’re interested in acquiring veteran guard Mike Conley.

“Conley’s contract is favorable, with $14.3 million of $24.4 million guaranteed next season,” wrote Pincus. “The same (real or wannabe) contenders are thought to have interest, among others: the Lakers, [Los Angeles] Clippers and [Minnesota] Timberwolves.”

Conley would be a curious target for a Lakers team that wanted to get younger last offseason and achieved exactly that. He is now 35 years of age, and although he was a steady and dependable point guard for many years, his production has sharply fallen off this season.

The Utah Jazz guard is averaging just 10.5 points a game while shooting 39.3 percent from the field, both of which are nearly career lows, although he is dishing off 7.4 assists a game.

Los Angeles previously had interest in Conley this past summer after the Jazz had shipped off All-Star Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The two teams did make a deal that brought Patrick Beverley to the Purple and Gold in return for Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson.

In addition, Pincus reported the Lakers may want to kick the tires on Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon.

“A compromise might consist of a pick swap, with Houston using the Milwaukee Bucks’ first (projected to be around No. 25) it has from the 2021 P.J. Tucker trade,” Pincus continued. “The Rockets run the risk of a diminishing return, but Gordon seems likely to be dealt by the deadline.

“Interested teams include the [Phoenix] Suns, Lakers and Bucks.”

Gordon is another guard whose numbers have decreased compared to the past. He is putting up 12.3 points a game this season on 42.9 percent overall shooting and 34.9 percent from 3-point range. Last year, he registered 13.4 points per contest while shooting 47.5 percent overall and 41.2 percent from beyond the arc.

The Lakers’ biggest need right now remains 3-point shooting. Hachimura, who shot well above 40 percent from that distance last season, could end up helping in that department, but they still need one more 3-point sniper in order to even come close to championship contention.

In addition, they’re still somewhat thin in the frontcourt, as their only true rotation-quality forwards as of now are Hachimura and LeBron James.

Troy Brown Jr. and Juan Toscano-Anderson are considered subpar players by most fans and observers, while Wenyen Gabriel plays with great energy and effort but lacks strength, explosiveness and offensive skills.

Trading for another backcourt player when the Lakers already have a glut of guards would be a curious and questionable move.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.