The Los Angeles Lakers are active in trade talks with less than a month to go before the February deadline. Much has been made about the Lakers potentially dealing Russell Westbrook, but the team also appears to be exploring smaller potential trades as well. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported the Lakers are looking to deal Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore.
“The Lakers have little trade flexibility, but that hasn’t stopped Los Angeles from exploring various potential deals,” Fischer detailed on January 13. “Rob Pelinka’s front office has only Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn as non-minimum players with tangible trade value, and that combination won’t be nearly enough to land Grant or Turner. But the Lakers have called rival teams to assess the trade value of DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore, sources said.”
The trade value of these three veterans remains to be seen. The bigger payoff with these potential deals could be the Lakers creating additional roster spots for future buyout candidates.
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The Lakers Could End up Releasing Jordan
Jordan appears to have fallen out of favor with the Lakers as the team turned to Dwight Howard as the starting center. The veteran center has been the one constant in various trade reports as the Lakers look to improve their roster. Heading into the new year, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported the Lakers may ultimately release Jordan to open up an additional roster spot.
“A team to watch is the Lakers, so [the] Lakers have a full roster and they’re cost sensitive,” Windhorst noted during the December 28 edition of The Hoop Collective podcast. “But DeAndre Jordan is playing very poorly for them, and basically LeBron is playing a lot of minutes at center right now. I don’t think he’s starting at center but the second half on Christmas they started him at center…or they played Carmelo for a few minutes at center, which was laughable.
“It could be a situation where the Lakers are like, we’re going to cut DeAndre Jordan to keep a player, possibly, if Stanley Johnson works out or something like that.”
The Lakers Have Explored a Trade With the Raptors: Report
The Lakers have been linked to a number of players in trade rumors with the latest report connecting the team to swingman Gary Trent Jr. Hoops Hype’s Michael Scotto reported the Lakers have done their “due diligence” on Trent for a possible deal.
“The Los Angeles Lakers have been doing their due diligence around the league, and expressed interest in Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr., according to league sources,” Scotto noted on January 12. “One of several players they’ve checked in on. However, I don’t see a deal happening between those teams at this time since it would likely have to involve Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn from a salaries perspective.”
The Lakers most tradable player outside of LeBron James and Anthony Davis is Talen Horton-Tucker. If the Lakers want to land a player capable of helping them this season, the deal will likely have to including the promising swingman.