As the February 6th trade deadline quickly approaches, NBA trade rumors have started to heat up. Despite the Los Angeles Lakers holding a firm grasp on the top spot in the Western Conference, they’ve been involved in a number of rumors. One name who has popped up in trade rumors for the team is center DeMarcus Cousins. He has yet to play a regular-season game with the Lakers thanks to suffering a torn ACL in August. Even though he’s still injured, he holds some value as a trade piece. However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on Lakers Talk with Allen Sliwa that the Lakers may not be too keen on doing that just yet.
“… in being around the Lakers, they believe, I think that DeMarcus Cousins is going to have a chance to play at some point this season… I don’t think the Lakers want to trade DeMarcus Cousins,” said Windhorst, courtesy of TheLakersReview. “I think they want to hang onto him, with the idea that he can recover from that injury.”
If Cousins comes back at any point this season, his impact will likely be minimal. That said, he could make a small difference even if he just plays a few minutes a game come playoff time. Cousins was one of the best big men in the NBA before he ran into a string of devastating injuries. Though it seems like his best days are behind him, it’s always possible he could recapture the magic considering he’s still only 29-years old.
Lakers Are Going to Have a Hard Time Making a Trade
While the Lakers seem very inclined to make some sort of trade to bolster their roster before the deadline, Windhorst pointed out that they may just not have the capital to pull it off.
“I just think that the trade is going to be too tough to pull off for any legitimate piece,” Windhorst said. “I think especially because they’re so limited with their draft picks… it’s just going to be hard to get high upside players so, if a couple of your guys have no-trade clauses… and you don’t want to trade your injured guy at the end of the bench, and you got to have a high standard for what you’re going to trade Kuzma for, it’s hard to put something together, to be honest with you.”
If the Lakers really want to add a trade piece, it looks like they may need to change their expectations. The team isn’t going to land a superstar with how few pieces they have to offer, so it’s questionable if they even need to make a trade. However, it’s been reported that they’d like some ball-handling help.
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Derrick Rose Could Be a Target
One name to keep an eye on is Derrick Rose as Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports believes that the Lakers will be players in his trade market:
The Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and multiple teams with championship aspirations have expressed interest in trading for Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Rose, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Though Rose hasn’t been able to recapture the magic that made him the NBA MVP in 2011, he’s been able to reinvent himself as a very strong player off the bench. He’s currently with the Detroit Pistons and is making a case for Sixth Man of the Year, but that team doesn’t have any championships aspirations this season. The Lakers could offer Rose his best shot at an NBA Championship.