Lakers Trade Rumors – The Los Angeles Lakers will be a big player at the trade deadline, as they try to unload contracts to create more cap room for the free-agency period.
Four veterans have already been placed on the trading block (according to ESPN Marc Stein), while the name of no.2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell has also been mentioned as potential trade candidate.
The Lakers’ aggressiveness as a seller on the trading front isn’t surprising at all, considering the fact that they are one of several teams expected to make a strong push for incoming free-agent All-Star Kevin Durant.
The Lakers have a number of up-and-coming talents on their roster (Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle) and a huge expiring contract (Roy Hibbert’s $15M) to use as trade chips in exchange for the cap room they seek.
On the other hand, trading its young talents for virtually nothing is a big risk to make for the Lakers, especially if they miss on Durant and other big name free-agents this offseason. With Kobe Bryant retiring at the end of the season, the pressure is on for general manager Mitch Kupchak and his team to deliver the next superstar for the franchise.
And for those who are expecting to land an up-and-coming star like Hassan Whiteside or a bonifide All-Star like Blake Griffin. Sorry, it won’t happen. The Lakers simply don’t have the assets to shoot for the stars.
For now, here are some realistic trade targets that would help the Lakers moving forward:
Tyreke Evans – the former Rookie of the Year has been reported available on the trading block last week. Evans, who will enter the final year of his contract next season at $10M, could be a nice acquisition for the Lakers because of his ability to impact the game beyond scoring.
The versatile guard is averaging at least 15 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists in 30 minutes per game, but just played 25 games so far due to knee problem. If healthy, Evans is an absolute game-changer who could play a big role for future playoff team.
Sending Lou Williams and another expiring contract might be enough to land Evans since the Pelicans are direly looking for a scoring. (see trade machine results)
David Lee – The former two-time All-Star is in the final year of the contract worth $15MM. So is Roy Hibbert. However, the Boston Celtics are currently on a look out for some rim protection.
The Lakers could capitalize this situation by offering Hibbert, who swats 1.8 shots per game throughout his career, to the Celtics in exchange for Lee and a late-first round pick.
In 2014, the Lakers traded their rights to some of their international draft picks to the Houston Rockets for Jeremy Lee and a late first-round pick which turned out to be Larry Nance Jr. There nothing harm if the Lakers would do the same trick again by offering Hibbert for another expiring contract and a first-rounder.
Jeff Teague – Okay, I just said the Lakers have zero chance of landing an All-Star through trades at deadline. But what if the Lakers really have a legit shot at getting the All-Star point guard?
Teague, who is averaging a gaudy 14.9 points and 5.5 assists per game, is surprisingly available on the trading block, as the Hawks look to hand over the starting role to Dennis Schroder.
Teague will turn 28 this June, but still has a lot of basketball left in him. He can be a solid pickup for a team seeking for a leader backcourt with the departure of Bryant. The Lakers could package Williams and a deal-sweetener in Jordan Clarkson to make the Hawks bite the bait.
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