The Los Angeles Lakers continue to look to improve their roster with an eye on repeating as NBA champions. ESPN’s Bobby Marks detailed a potential trade that would land the Lakers P.J. Tucker. In fact, the insider suggests it is the only realistic proposal within the salary cap if the Lakers are to acquire Tucker from the Rockets.
“For example, the Lakers’ lone option to acquire the Rockets’ P.J. Tucker ($7.9 million) is to send out $7 million in salary (a combination of Wesley Matthews, Alfonzo McKinnie and Jared Dudley) and still have enough money to sign a free agent to fill out the roster after the imbalance trade,” Marks explained.
The Lakers have two open roster spots which they can use to sign players who receive a buyout, acquire a player via trade or a combination of the two. Heavy recently detailed some of the potential buyout candidates who are a fit for the Lakers including sharpshooter JJ Redick.
Tucker is putting up modest numbers in Houston averaging 4.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in his 28 starts. The trade may not be a blockbuster deal, but it gives the Lakers another big man in their rotation. Tucker has played big minutes in playoff games which is an added bonus when the postseason rolls around.
Vogel on Filling out the Lakers’ Roster: ‘We’ll Always Look at Opportunities to Improve Our Team’
The Lakers are not giving away any clues about what they are looking for to fill out their open roster spots. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel politely declined to specify what positions the team will target.
“We’ll always look at opportunities to improve our team, but nothing concrete right now,” Vogel said, per Lakers Nation. “We’re just looking at what players are available. I’m not going to discuss any types of needs that we’re discussing internally.”
While they may not be discussing things publicly, the most identifiable areas the team is likely to address are three-point shooting and big man depth. The one thing that is abundantly clear with the release of Quinn Cook is the Lakers are not done constructing their roster for this season. As for Tucker, the big man is prepared for anything but likely would not mind being traded to a contender.
“It’s a business, man,” Tucker told Houston Chronicle. “That’s the only thing I tell (teammates). You focus on today. Obviously, it can change on any day. But you have to keep your focus on what you’ve got going on that day, what team you’re on that day, and take care of your business.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski Described the Lakers as ‘Active’ in Trade Talks
During a recent episode of ESPN’s NBA Countdown, insider Adrian Wojnarowski described the Lakers as being “active” in pursuing a trade. Wojnarowski mentioned Tucker as a player the Lakers have identified as a fit for upgrading their roster.
“The Lakers have been active,” Wojnarowski explained, via Silver Screen and Roll. “I know they’ve made calls about some wing players to see if there is some shooting available out there. Another player they’re interested in: P.J. Tucker, from the Houston Rockets. There’s a lot of interest among contenders in Tucker, who’s in the last year of his deal. The Miami Heat, who the Lakers play tonight, Milwaukee, Brooklyn, several others. One thing I’m told is that Houston wants back not picks, but a player that they can plug back into their lineup.”