Lakers Could Strike Trade for Polarizing $128 Million Former NBA Champ

Rob Pelinka Darvin Ham

Getty Los Angeles Lakers rumors continue to swirl about potential NBA trades.

The Los Angeles Lakers rumors continue to swirl ahead of the NBA trade deadline on February 8, 2024. Questions remain about just how aggressive the Lakers will get this season.

Bleacher Report’s Erik Beaston is urging the Lakers to avoid making a blockbuster deal for another star like Zach LaVine. General manager Rob Pelinka may have learned his lesson from disastrous deals like the one for Russell Westbrook.

The NBA analyst mentions several potential trade targets for the Lakers, but one name stands above the rest: Washington Wizards guard Jordan Poole. Now, one could argue Poole is a star in his own right as a longtime key member of the Warriors, including during the team’s 2022 NBA championship run. Poole’s short stint with the Wizards has not gone quite as smoothly.

“The Lakers would be better off being patient, waiting to see what develops trade wise with the Raptors, Wizards, Jazz, Nets, or Hornets and seeing who they can add to the mix to benefit the team as a role player,” Beaston wrote in a December 6, 2023 article titled, “Lakers Should Trade For Role Players Rather Than Stars Amid NBA Rumors.”

“Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported Royce O’Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith of the Nets are potential trade bait in Brooklyn. Marc Stein reported the Wizards see Jordan Poole as a trade piece than anything and could be looking to move him before the deadline.”

Washington Wizards Guard Jordan Poole Is Shooting Just 29.8% From Long Range

On the surface, it seems odd that the Wizards would give up on Poole months after acquiring the guard from Golden State. Washington landed Poole as part of a lengthy package in exchange for Chris Paul.

Poole has been somewhat underwhelming since arriving in Washington. The guard is averaging 17.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game in his first 19 appearances.

One of the concerning numbers is Poole’s three-point shooting at just 29.8%. Poole is on pace to shoot his lowest percentage from long range since his rookie season in 2019-2020.

NBA Rumors: The Wizards May Be Looking to Trade Jordan Poole

The Wizards could be ready to to chalk up acquiring Poole as a loss. Poole is in the first season of a sizable four-year, $128 million contract. The veteran’s production is not living up to his $27.4 million salary for this season.

This explains some of the less than flattering viral videos that are going around of Poole. Some feature Poole looking disinterested in huddles, lapses on defense and his shooting woes. All this has NBA insider Marc Stein pondering if the Wizards are ready to move on from Poole.

“Did the Washington Wizards trade for Jordan Poole to try to rebuild his trade value to move him on in a future trade … or to make him a cornerstone player of their post-Bradley Beal future?” Stein detailed on November 13.

“My sense, from speaking to various league observers, is that more believe it is the former rather than the latter with Poole in Year 1 of a four-year, $123 million contract.”

Lakers Rumors: LA Is More Likely to Strike a Deal Closer to the NBA Trade Deadline

Lakers fans can expect the front office not be in a hurry to strike a deal. Some of the Lakers potential trade chips like D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura cannot be moved until December 15 and January 15, 2024 respectively. As the deadline gets closer, look for Lakers rumors to heat up.

As for Poole’s fit on the Lakers, adding another non-shooter would be less than ideal. Yet, Poole’s backers will point out we have seen the guard as a key member of a championship team.