As the Los Angeles Lakers continue to be decimated by injuries, help may be on the way in the form of the buyout market. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported the Lakers are among the “top suitors” for two-time All-Star center Andre Drummond but will need him to reach a buyout with the Cavs. The Lakers are not expected to look to acquire Drummond via trade, and the Cavaliers’ preference would be to get something in return through a deadline deal.
“The Lakers and Nets are believed to be Drummond’s top suitors should he receive a contract buyout after the trade deadline, but the Cavaliers are steadfast about finding a trade for the center,” Charania noted. “The Knicks have also explored the possibility of adding Drummond, and potentially offering him a multiyear deal as a free agent via buyout, sources said. The Cavaliers have so far sought an asset back in any Drummond deal — such as a second-round pick, sources said — but rival teams are skeptical about Cleveland’s ability to find one in a trade. Drummond is on an expiring contract worth $28.7 million.”
The Lakers would have to send back a lot of assets to acquire Drummond via trade making a potential deal unrealistic for Los Angeles. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers can beat out the Nets if Drummond hits the open market.
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The Lakers ‘Remain Engaged’ in Trade Talks Centered on Rockets Big Man P.J. Tucker
Another player the Lakers have been connected to is P.J. Tucker. The Lakers would likely need to make a deal for Tucker as several teams are interested in trading for the Rockets big man, per Charania.
“The Rockets remain engaged with several teams — including Milwaukee, Miami and the Lakers — but sources say Houston’s desire for a young talented player has set a strong price in any potential deal for the 35-year-old forward,” Charania detailed. “The Nets had pursued Tucker, a deal that would have required injured starting guard Spencer Dinwiddie’s contract, but sources say Brooklyn is no longer believed to be involved in the Tucker market.”
The Rockets Are Holding Tucker Out of Games Until They Reach a Trade
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon reported Tucker is unlikely to play again for the Rockets as the big man awaits a deal. Tucker’s relationship has deteriorated with the Rockets as he continues to push for a trade. The Rockets have opted to keep Tucker away from the team until a deal is reached by the March 25th deadline.
“Tucker has grown increasingly frustrated that he has yet to be moved to a contender and made it clear that he’d prefer to sit out games until the front office finds a deal for him ahead of the March 25 trade deadline, sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski and MacMahon detailed. “…The Rockets have had several concurrent trade discussions with teams in recent weeks involving Tucker, talks that are expected to result in a deal for Tucker prior to the March 25 trade deadline, sources said. The Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets are among teams that have discussed possible deals with the Rockets in recent weeks, sources said.”
Drummond is averaging 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 blocks in 25 starts for the Cavs this season. The big man is on pace for his ninth straight season of averaging a double-double. Tucker is putting up more modest numbers averaging 4.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in his 32 starts for the Rockets. The Houston big man is known for being a plus defender and has big-game postseason experience.