If you want to find out which guard the Los Angeles Lakers are considering trading for, you’ll have to follow the breadcrumbs left by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who dropped some clues during a recent Q&A.
Windhorst sat down with Jas Kang of Silver Screen and Roll and had an interesting answer about how the Lakers could end up improving their roster.
“There’s a deal out there for them for another guard. That would be interesting. I’ll see if they actually go forward with it. It’s a guard on the last year of his contract who was great last year for his team and that team may be looking to move him. That would be interesting.”
So that leaves a few options. Former MVP and current Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Rose has been rumored to be a target of the Lakers, and Heavy’s Sean Deveney reported earlier this month that a trade between the two sides is “much more likely now.”
There’s also Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, who would happily reunite with Anthony Davis in Los Angeles if the opportunity arose. He has a player option to weigh in 2021. Holiday averaged 19.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.7 assists last season.
And of course, there’s Oklahoma City guard and LeBron James’ pal Chris Paul, who has a player option as well in 2021, but carries a hefty price tag. Paul is set to make more than $41 million next year and is tied for Russell Westbrook with the second-highest cap hit. Only Stephen Curry ($43 million) is higher.
Lakers Have to Get Creative With Assets
The Lakers gave up a ton of their assets last season in the trade for Anthony Davis, including a war chest of first-round picks, as well as young stars Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart.
As Windhorst pointed out in the article, the Lakers need to get creative in how they build their roster, because right now it’s hard for them to even matchup up salaries. He notes that giving Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Rajon Rondo “decent money” with new deals could give them some assets to trade down the line when the season starts rolling and the trade deadline approaches.
Windhorst also noted that he believes the Lakers will investigate if Danny Green — who will make an excess of $15 million next season — has any value after a down season.
Anthony Davis Extension a Priority for Lakers
Whatever the Lakers decide to do with their roster, it’ll likely take some cap magic from general manager Rob Pelinka to make it work if LA does plan to bring in a third, fringe star behind James and Davis.
But before anything else, the Lakers primary concern this offseason is inking Davis to an extension.
Davis has been clear that he’ll opt-out this offseason, but has already committed to re-signing with the Lakers, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The question is how long Davis will commit to be one of the pillars of the organization and what kind of flexibility it will give them on spending.