The Los Angeles Lakers don't have much wiggle room to add players this summer after Russell Westbrook opted into his $47 million player option. However, that's not preventing the team from looking at ways to improve.
Rival executives believe the Purple and Gold may target Chicago Bulls point guard Coby White in a trade this offseason, according to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.
"The Lakers could also look to acquire players via trade, with rival executives believing Chicago's Coby White could be a target," Woike wrote. "Moving Talen Horton-Tucker, a player whose ball-dominant skills are viewed by rival scouts as being redundant with the Lakers' stars, could be a way to upgrade to suit the Lakers' needs."
If the Bulls were to move White, it wouldn't necessarily be surprising, as ESPN's Jonathan Givony previously reported the franchise was open to trading the No. 18 pick in the 2022 draft and potentially White in a package.
White has a $7.4 million salary-cap hit for the 2022-23 season, per Spotrac, while Horton-Tucker has a $10.3 million cap hit.
White would undoubtedly be an upgrade from Horton-Tucker. The 22-year-old averaged 12.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 61 games last season while shooting 43.3 percent from the floor and 38.5 percent from deep.
While his numbers declined from the 2020-21 campaign, White averaged 27.5 minutes last season, compared to 31.2 minutes during the season prior. In addition, he started just 17 games last season compared to 54 in 2020-21.
Horton-Tucker, meanwhile, averaged 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 60 games with the Lakers last season while shooting 41.6 percent from the floor and just 26.9 percent from deep.
The Purple and Gold finished the 2021-22 season with the NBA's ninth-worst three-point percentage (34.7 percent), and there's no question they need to add shooting around Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Athletic's Jovan Buha reported the Lakers' focus in free agency is two-way wings, but adding White, who has shot well from deep over his three-year career, via trade would also help the team's outside shooting struggles.
In addition, White could handle starting point guard duties if Westbrook were to underperform again this coming season, so acquiring him could prove to be a valuable addition.
Westbrook averaged just 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists last season while shooting 44.4 percent from the floor and a dismal 29.8 percent from deep in 78 games. It was one of his worst seasons in the NBA.
The Lakers are hoping to reach the playoffs next season after finishing 11th in the Western Conference during the 2021-22 campaign. However, it could be difficult given the way the team has been built.