Rockets Veteran Emerges as Lakers Trade Target

Getty Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets.

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be busy at the trade deadline and a name that has emerged for the team is veteran guard Eric Gordon.

A recent article from Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus breaking down the trade buzz in NBA identified Eric Gordon and Terrance Ross as more realistic targets for the Lakers than big names like Ben Simmons, Jerami Grant or Myles Turner. Here’s what Pincus had to say about the Lakers’ options:

While the Los Angeles Lakers have designs on Simmons, Turner and Grant, the franchise may not have enough to get a deal done. Westbrook’s contract is all but unmovable. Talen Horton-Tucker hasn’t taken a step forward in his third season. A more likely market for the Lakers might be Terrence Ross of the Orlando Magic or Eric Gordon of the Rockets, provided either team wants to take a flyer on Horton-Tucker as a prospect.

As Pincus notes, to get Gordon the team would likely have to deal Horton-Tucker and cobble together some other salaries to make the numbers work. That could either come through a bevy of their minimum players or Kendrick Nunn, who has yet to play this season.

Gordon Would be Key Contributor for Lakers

Gordon is a proven veteran and capable scorer, averaging 16.5 points for his career. The former Sixth Man of the Year is stuck on the Rockets, who are skewing younger and sit at just 15-32 — the worst in the Western Conference.

Gordon is averaging 14.9 points on a career-best 50.5 percent from the field this season. He’s hitting his 3-pointers at a 45.5 percent clip and is adding 3.3 assists.

The Rockets have a steep asking price of a first-round pick for Gordon, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

The Lakers have to be careful about not overreacting to their 21-22 record and give up too much for the well-paid 33-year-old guard. The team is already struggling on the defensive end and has not had an opportunity to see its fully-assembled roster in action. Anthony Davis is still out, as is Nunn.

Westbrook Unbothered by Trade Rumors

The Lakers could go another route at the trade deadline, which would be finding a trade to part ways with star guard Russell Westbrook. The Lakers altered their franchise by trading for Westbrook this offseason but things have not gone as planned — both because of injuries and his style of play. The Lakers would have to find a suitor for Westbrook’s bulky $44.2 million this season and a player option for $47 million next season.

It’s been reported that the Lakers have shopped Westbrook this season but he’s not phased by it.

“I never worry,” Westbrook told Sam Amick of The Athletic. “Do the job. Be professional. Every year, my name is in trade (rumors). It never, never, never seeps into how I approach what I do. It’s kind of what I was mentioning back there (during the press conference). I see this game so different (in terms of) how to use it to be able to impact things

“Regardless of if (a trade) did happen or if it didn’t happen, nothing’s going to change my mentality or my purpose. I feel like I have a purpose that’s bigger than basketball and I always keep that as my forefront regardless of what happens inside of pro sports.”

The trade deadline is February 10.

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