Rob Pelinka’s first couple of years as the Los Angeles Lakers general manager after Magic Johnson resigned looked really good. They won a championship two seasons ago and probably would’ve won another had LeBron James and Anthony Davis not gotten hurt last season. Unfortunately, it’s looking like he’s got regret with how he constructed this season’s roster.
The team has already been shopping Russell Westbrook and continues to try and retool the roster. One of the worst additions the team made was signing center DeAndre Jordan. He’s arguably been the Lakers’ worst player and has fallen out of the rotation after starting 18 games earlier in the season. Another bad addition was Kent Bazemore. He started in 14 games but fell out of the rotation after only averaging 4.3 points a game. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Lakers are hoping to get both Bazemore and Jordan off the roster.
“They already offloaded a player in Rondo to create a roster spot, and they are looking to do more of that,” Windhorst said. “From teams that I have talked to, they are out there, with LeBron starting at center and eventually getting Anthony Davis back, they are looking to move DeAndre Jordan. Not necessarily for another player, but to move him so that they can open up a roster spot. Kent Bazemore is another player that they’ve been willing to talk about, talking to some other teams. I think their goal is to open up a roster spot.
“The Rondo move looks like it was going to be designed for Stanley Johnson to fill, but they may look in the buyout market for another player or two. They are trying to figure out how to do that.”
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Would Anybody Take Bazemore or Jordan?
The fact that the Lakers were able to trade Rajon Rondo gives hope to the idea that they can trade Bazemore and Jordan. However, the Cleveland Cavaliers took Rondo because they can actually use them. It’s hard to imagine many teams will look at Jordan and Bazemore and see much upside.
The Lakers would have to add a draft pick to whatever deal to make it worth the receiving team’s time. Bazemore is likely more appealing to teams than Jordan. He was a decent contributor for the Golden State Warriors last season and hit 40.8% of his threes. There could be a team that sees value in him. For Jordan, it’s hard to imagine a team getting excited about bringing him in.
Is Stanley Johnson Getting a Roster Spot?
The Lakers clearly would like to open up roster spots but have some players they’d like to keep. Stanley Johnson appears to be the favorite to get the spot that the Rondo trade opened up. He’s proven to be a solid defender, which is exactly what the Lakers need. Avery Bradley also appears set to get his contract guaranteed for the year.
The fact that the Lakers are shopping Jordan and Bazemore right now likely means that Bradley and Johnson will get spots on the roster as the team continues to tinker around.