Lakers Rumors: Dante Cunningham Isn't Right Fit for Los Angeles

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2013

Minnesota Timberwolves F Dante Cunningham is the subject of trade rumors
Minnesota Timberwolves F Dante Cunningham is the subject of trade rumorsGreg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Dante Cunningham is not the member of the Minnesota Timberwolves the Los Angeles Lakers should be going after.

Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times is reporting Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is looking to try to acquire Cunningham before the trade deadline.

Cunningham is one of the Timberwolves players who have seen more time on the court with the injuries to Kevin Love this year. He's averaged 7.4 points and 5.5 rebounds in 24.7 minutes during the 2012-13 season.

This seems like a rather curious move for the Lakers. Cunningham's production isn't off the charts. If Los Angeles is dead set on working on a trade with Minnesota, Derrick Williams is probably a better option.

Williams is four years younger and his stats are pretty similar to Cunningham's in about five fewer minutes a night.

Although he's failed to live up to the hype of a No. 2 overall pick, Williams is still only 21 years old. He has plenty of time to get his career on track.

He has a ton of athletic ability. If his basketball skills can catch up, Williams could be a very good forward in the league.

Pincus' article didn't go into any specifics as to what the Lakers might be willing to part with. But Pau Gasol could be on the move. Going back to this past summer, Minnesota had been angling to bring in Gasol (h/t USA Today).

With Love set to miss more time, the Timberwolves might want to bring in an established big man who can give them the push needed to make the playoffs.

While his trade stock has never been lower, the Lakers should leverage a piece like Gasol for much more than Cunningham. Williams would be a much better value.

You could even see the Lakers standing pat. As its stars continue to get back to full health, the team will continue to improve.

In addition, Los Angeles should take into account the play of Earl Clark.

Clark's biggest highlight of the season was his 22-point, 13-rebound performance against the San Antonio Spurs on January 9. None of his other games have come close to that output. But Clark has the kind of attributes off the bench that the Lakers sorely need right now.

His numbers are lower than Cunningham's, but Clark has only been averaging about 13 minutes a night.

The organization doesn't need to bring in more big names to cloud the already star-studded lineup. Bench accessories are the way to improve this team.

The Lakers should be looking at different options than Cunningham, as he doesn't appear to be the right fit.