The Lakers shook things up on Thursday night when they traded for Patrick Beverley
On Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz struck a deal for Patrick Beverley that was fertile ground for memes and reactions given the lack of amicability between Russell Westbrook and Pat Bev. Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson are the outgoing pieces for the Lakers, meaning the Lakers rotation will look a little bit different moving forward.
Patrick Beverley adds a certain intensity and competitive expectation to a Lakers team that missed the postseason altogether last year. Los Angeles has higher expectations, and Beverley’s energy will certainly help make that clear on a daily basis.
Once a thorn in the Lakers side when he was with the LA Clippers as a same-building rival, Beverley’s borderline-annoying defensive style now moves over to the Lakers’ side of Crypto dot com Arena.
Los Angeles Lakers lineup after Patrick Beverley trade
This is what we’d anticipate the Lakers starting lineup to look like after the Patrick Beverley trade, barring any further moves:
- Point Guard: Russell Westbrook
- Shooting Guard: Lonnie Walker IV
- Small Forward: LeBron James
- Power Forward: Anthony Davis
- Center: Thomas Bryant
No changes to the starting lineup come from this deal. Westbrook was bad last season, but Beverley is best coming off the bench to inject some fire into the second unit. This brings us to the real changes, the rotation.
Los Angeles Lakers rotation after Patrick Beverley trade
- Point Guard: Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, LeBron James
- Shooting Guard: Lonnie Walker IV, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Austin Reaves
- Small Forward: LeBron James, Troy Brown Jr.
- Power Forward: Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Wenyen Gabriel, Stanley Johnson
- Center: Thomas Bryant, Anthony Davis, Damian Jones
It’s OK, Lakers fans, you can let out a collective groan regarding the starting point guard.
With training camp yet to start, this rotation is anything but set in stone. LeBron played most of his minutes at the four last season but the addition of Thomas Bryant allows Anthony Davis to start at his more natural position, which also bumps James back to small forward where he’s most comfortable, at least to start.
Other fringe aspects of the rotation that are worth watching during the preseason:
- Toscano-Anderson and Reaves could battle for the second-unit spot
- Both Nunn and Beverley could make a case for the starting point guard slot if Westbrook is still on the team and has yet to make any progression from last season
- If necessary, Davis could move back to center which would bring James back up to the four, much like last season
- Fringe players that could round out the ends of the rotation depending on how they perform in the preseason: Scotty Pippen Jr. (PG), Cole Swider (SF), Max Christie (G), Javante McCoy (G), Fabian White Jr. (F), Jay Huff (C).
Of course, it’s highly likely the Lakers are ready to move on from Westbrook if they can find a suitor, which will shake up this rotation even further.