The Lakers are among three teams with a known interest in Reddish, the others being the Dallas Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks.
Stein believes the asking price is a second-round pick for Reddish, which is something the Lakers could swing without dipping too much into their limited asset pool.
“Despite the price it paid to bring Reddish in, league sources say New York is seeking only second-round draft compensation now to move Reddish on in addition to the contracts required for salary-cap-matching purposes. Reddish’s salary this season is nearly $6 million,” Stein reported in his latest post on Substack.
Lakers Could Swap Kendrick Nunn for Reddish
The Lakers are limited to trading at most two first-round picks but have seven second-round picks available to trade, per ESPN. The Lakers contract that would help fill the salary the easiest is Kendrick Nunn, although it would truly depend on how much the Lakers value Reddish and where they see him fitting in the lineup.
Nunn is averaging 13.1 minutes per game off the bench and his time in the rotation has been inconsistent this season. However, he has shown upside at times. He put up 23 points on January 6 against the Atlanta Hawks and has three other double-digit scoring nights since the New Year on his resume. Nunn missed all of last season with a knee injury.
Reddish was the 10th overall pick in the 2019 draft but has had a tough go in New York. It’s been just over a year since he was traded to the Knicks from the Hawks and has not played for the team since December 3. For his career, Reddish is averaging 10.5 points on 38.7% shooting from the field. He hits his 3-point attempts at a 32.5% clip.
Lakers Committed to Building Winning Roster Around LeBron James
The Lakers have kept things afloat after a miserable start to the year, battling through injuries to at least stay in contention for a playoff spot. As of January 18, the Lakers are 20-24 and the 13th seed in the Western Conference. However, LA is just two games out of the No. 6 seed in the standings, so hope is far from lost as far as a postseason berth.
But to propel themselves into contender status, the Lakers need to put a few more pieces in place around LeBron James and — eventually — Anthony Davis when he returns from injury. General manager Rob Pelinka has made just one trade during the regular season during his tenure in LA but made a commitment to giving James all the help he needs while he’s still near the peak of his powers.
“Let me be abundantly clear,” Pelinka said in September. “We have one of the greatest players in LeBron James to ever play the game on our team. He committed to us with a long-term contract, a three-year contract. So of course we will do everything we can, picks included, to make deals that give us a chance to help LeBron get to the end. He committed to our organization. That’s got to be a bilateral commitment, and it’s there.”
James is averaging 29.7 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.0 assists this season and has been vocal about wanting to play winning basketball. He’s carried an additional load with Davis out. James has averaged 34.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists in 15 games without Davis this season.