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Report: Lakers Waited to Finalize Patrick Beverley Trade to Honor Kobe Bryant Day

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 25, 2022

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly didn't want anything to overshadow Kobe Bryant Day on Wednesday.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Purple and Gold traded Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz for Patrick Beverley and finalized the deal Thursday morning.

Beverley even referenced it in a tweet:

Patrick Beverley @patbev21

Woke up a Laker!!! 💜💛🙏🏾 Its On!!!

The timing is notable because Marc J. Spears of ESPN reported the Lakers waited to finalize the trade until Thursday "out of respect to Kobe Bryant Day yesterday." The day honoring the franchise legend is Aug. 24 in reference to the jersey numbers he wore during his career, Nos. 8 and 24.

As for the trade, Beverley figures to bolster the Lakers defense.

The three-time All-Defensive selection is known for his ability to hound ball-handlers for the length of the floor and is no stranger to exchanging words with his opponents. Some of those exchanges in the past came with new teammate Russell Westbrook, so it should be interesting to see how their dynamic plays out in the same backcourt.

Opponents shot 1.5 percentage points lower than their normal averages from the field and 8.1 points lower than their normal marks from three-point range last season when Beverley guarded them, per NBA.com.

The 34-year-old has played for the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves and was on Utah's roster because he was part of the return package in the trade that sent Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves.

He should help the 2022-23 Lakers, but the franchise's attention was elsewhere Wednesday:

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Good night, Lakers Fam 💜💛 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KobeDay?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KobeDay</a> <a href="https://t.co/dm5cR6fam0">pic.twitter.com/dm5cR6fam0</a>

Bryant was a Hall of Famer who helped bring Los Angeles five championships during his legendary career. He and his daughter, Gianna, were among the nine people who died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, in January 2020.

Jason Kravarik, Natasha Chen, Eric Levenson and Amir Vera of CNN reported Thursday a federal jury awarded Bryant's widow, Vanessa, $16 million in damages after determining that Los Angeles County Sheriff's and Fire departments infringed on her constitutional rights by taking photographs of the crash scene and then sharing them.

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