To keep Darvin Ham, the Lakers need to trade a recently signed free agent

Darvin Ham’s issue is with Cam Reddish.

We said that there.

Recognizing one’s addiction is the first step towards recovery. And that issue just finished 1 of 5 from the field while getting the start in the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Orlando Magic on Saturday, which ought to have been an easy victory.

Yes, LA (now 3-3) was playing the Magic (4-2). Indeed, just a few days into the 2023–24 season, three important young forwards for LA—Rui Hachimura, Taurean Prince, and Jarred Vanderbilt—were already sidelined due to ιnjury. However, that does not justify Ham’s continued preference for Reddish over Max Christie.

Even though he was starting yesterday for Los Angeles off the bench, the 6’6″ swingman from Michigan State once again appeared to be the better player. He grabbed five rebounds in addition to scoring six points on three of his seven shots. Despite his dismal shooting performance this season (.286/.143/1.000 shooting splits), Christie fits the mold of a reliable 3-and-D wing. Reddish’s offense is simply too unproven to be relied upon for a win-now squad, even while his defense has a lot of promise. 

The most crucial aspect of Christie’s game is his three-point shooting percentage, which was an excellent 41.9% last season (mainly off catch-and-shoots). Real minutes and a constant role should stabilize Christie’s hand and enhance his percentages.

If Darvin Ham keeps Cam Reddish in the starting lineup, it’s time for LA to dump him. The Lakers would have the first chance to swap him in a trade on December 15. I attest to them carrying that out. 

The squad is a little overloaded in the frontcourt, but I’m not sure who should start over, Jaxson Hayes or Rui Hachimura. Another option would have been Jarred Vanderbilt, but he is not eligible for an in-season trade due to his recent four-year, $48 million contract extension, which he signed late in the summer.