One of those teams expected to make significant moves on the trading front over the next couple of the days are the Los Angeles Lakers. On Tuesday, Daryl Murphy of Bleacher Report ramped up the buzz surrounding the Lakers with one of his intriguing trade ideas.
According to Murphy, the Lakers will be looking to sell some of its tradable assets, including players acquired last offseason, to keep their rebuilding effort on the right track.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reported few weeks ago about the availability of four veterans (Nick Young, Brandon Bass, Lou Williams and Roy Hibbert) on the trading block.
Williams is easily the most enticing trade asset the Lakers posses, but general manager Mitch Kupchak values the reining Sixth Man of the Year highly as he considers him someone who can be an important part of the future.
As for Young and Bass, the market for these journeymen is pretty slim. The Lakers won’t get any significant compensation if they sell these players now.
That leaves the defensive-oriented yet offensively-challenged Hibbert as the Lakers’ most feasible trade chip. Hibbert is playing in the final year of his contract worth roughly $15 million, making him a solid acquisition for teams looking for short-term fix.
Murphy thinks the Memphis Grizzlies might be an ideal trade partner for the Lakers, if they are trying to dispose Hibbert’s contract.
“With Marc Gasol out indefinitely due to a broken foot, the Memphis Grizzlies are in dire need of frontcourt help. This is one of the few situations in which Hibbert with his traditional half-court style could actually make some sense as a short-term replacement player.
Jeff Green has an expiring contract and an uncertain future in Memphis. Could the intermittently effective small forward be worth a test drive in L.A., perhaps combined with journeyman Brandan Wright, an athletic and rangy 4/5 who’s close to coming back from having his right knee scoped?”
Hibbert, who was unloaded by the Indiana Pacers for second round pick, is averaging 6.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. It’s clear he won’t fill the huge void left by Gasol (16.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 1.3 bpg) on the offensive end, but Murphy stressed the former two-time All-Star can hold his ground defensively.
Verdict: I am selling this one simply because the Grizzlies aren’t going to send two solid contributors in Green and Wright for a struggling Hibbert. I know ESPN trade machine indicates that there isn’t any financial hurdle for this trade not to happen. However, sending Green (12.2 ppg and 4.5 rpg) and Wright (6.6 ppg and 1.4 bpg)) to Lakers would be a big blow to their current campaign.
Photo Courtesy: Grizzlies.com