Lakers Eye a Known Talent to Fill the Void Left by James Harden’s Departure

The Lakers have an open roster spot, and Danny Green is available after the Sixers finally traded James Harden.

The James Harden saga is finally over…for now. After his third successful trade demand in his roller coaster career, Harden was dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers for a myriad of assets composted of veteran salary fillers and enticing draft capital. The players sent to the Philadelphia 76ers were Marcus Morris Sr., Robert Covington, Nicolas Batum and Kenyon Martin Jr.

In return, the Clippers received Harden, P.J. Tucker, and Filip Petrusev. Los Angeles was honest with themselves that their roster was not enough to win the championship, so they were the organization that was heavily invested in chasing Harden even if he was disgruntled in Philadelphia.

Since the Clippers gave up four players, the 76ers needed to open up a roster spot to complete the trade. Thus, the front office decided to waive recently acquired Danny Green, still a reliable 3-and-D wing who can contribute in a minor role for a championship-contending squad. One team that has an open roster spot and could utilize Green is the Los Angeles Lakers.

Green won a chip with the Lakers in 2020, but he was traded before the start of the following season. If he ends up back in Los Angeles, it will be the second tour of duty for Green with the purple and gold, who is known to have tremendous chemistry with LeBron James.

Why does Danny Green fit with the Lakers?

Danny Green, Lakers, Raptors, Spurs

The Lakers have a record of 3-2 at this early juncture of the season, an impressive mark considering they’ve dealt with injuries up and down the roster. Jarred Vanderbilt was a candidate to start for L.A., but he has not played this year because of an oblique injury. Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince and Jalen Hood-Schifino all missed the Lakers’ thrilling win over the Clippers on Wednesday ,too.

Head coach Darvin Ham limited his rotation to eight guys, and there was a stretch when he played three bigs together. The Lakers pulled out an overtime victory over the Clippers, but the formula they are relying on will not be sustainable for the long run. Danny Green’s addition would help their cause because he is a catch-and-shoot wing who can play off advantages created James, Austin Reaves and Anthony Davis.
LeBron James has no problem staying patient with Lakers - Silver Screen and  Roll

Green’s individual defense is not as stellar as it was a few years ago, but he is not a subpar defender who will be attacked mercilessly on that side of the floor. The Lakers do have a multitude of guys who flourish with the ball in their hands, so they do not need another spitfire guard or microwave scorer to fill-up the final roster spot.

As the 15th man in the lineup, there is a realistic possibility that Danny Green would be on the bench for most of the 82-game grind, but he does not have the ego that other youngsters may have. He could play a role similar to those occupied by Udonis Haslem or Andre Iguodala last season, respected veterans who galvanized their squad when the going got tough and provided valuable spot minutes in a pinch.

Green would likely have short spurts only in the playoffs, but he could earn more playing time in the regular season when the injury bug inevitably bites Los Angeles once again. Furthermore, Ham would want to lessen the load on guys like James and Davis, so giving Green 10-15 minutes a night is more than enough.

The Lakers’ fanbase loved and embraced Danny Green immensely during his first stint in LaLa land, so this opportunity could be a standout final chapter in his stellar NBA career.

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