Lakers Considered Trading Former Starter Until Darvin Ham Stepped In: Report

Lakers coach Darvin Ham reacts

Getty Head coach Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers coaches his team during their game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Demoted Los Angeles Lakers wing Taurean Prince nearly did not make it past the trade deadline.

According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, the Lakers considered trading Prince at the trade deadline.

“With limited interest in their players with multiple years left on their contracts, one option the Lakers weighed was trading Taurean Prince, who is making $4.5 million on an expiring contract. However, head coach Darvin Ham was one of the vocal supporters of retaining Prince, according to team sources,” Buha wrote on February 9.

Prince started in the Lakers’ first 47 games but has come off the bench since then.

Taurean Prince’s Demotion

The Lakers are 3-1 since Rui Hachimura replaced Prince in the starting lineup.

“Just coming out and being bigger on the frontline, creating some balance,” Ham explained in New York on February 3 when he made the switch. “Taurean, he has to do it on both sides of the ball and I just felt like him coming off the bench just would allow him to not only help us sure up our bench in terms of not only a defensive presence, but also allow him to get some buckets too. We need him to score and be aggressive offensively. So he was able to do that, he came in and had 16 points, so it worked out well. It created a nice sense of balance.”

Prince spent his first two seasons in the NBA with Ham in Atlanta when the Lakers head coach was still an assistant under Mike Budenholzer.

The 29-year-old Prince averaged 10.3 points while shooting 56% from the field and 40% from 3 with 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists since his relegation to the bench four games ago. As a starter, he averaged 9.6 points on 43% field goal shooting and 39% 3-point shooting with 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

Spencer Dinwiddie Comes Home

The Lakers may have stood pat at the trade deadline but it didn’t mean a reinforcement wouldn’t come. Rob Pelinka, the Lakers general manager and vice president of basketball operations, scored a coup when he got Spencer Dinwiddie to come home.

Dinwiddie, a Los Angeles native and a former high school star just 24 miles from the arena, signed with his hometown team after the Toronto Raptors waived him.

The veteran guard, who averaged 12.6 points, 6.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds for the Nets this season, will make his Lakers debut on Tuesday, February 13, against the Detroit Pistons.

The Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks in securing Dinwiddie’s services.

Lakers Stars Excited About Spencer Dinwiddie’s Addition

Lakers top stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis are excited to have Dinwiddie on board. They believe the veteran guard will help them in their title quest this season.

“Playmaking, another ball handler, another shot-maker. Another guy, another veteran,” LeBron James told reporters when asked what Dinwiddie could add to their team. “Anytime you can add a veteran with that ability, it helps.”

Dinwiddie has averaged 14.1 points, 3.6 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 28 games in the playoffs.

“Obviously, we’ve seen what he did with Brooklyn, what he did with Dallas making big plays for them,” Anthony Davis added. “He’s a well-established player.”


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