Lakers Linked to $54 Million Veteran With Trade Deadline Looming

Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Head coach Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers appear to be adjusting their sights accordingly ahead of the trade deadline.

Amid reports that their players outside of Austin Reaves – who they do not want to trade – do not hold much trade value around the league, a new target has emerged in Brooklyn Nets veteran guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

“The Lakers are known to have interest in Spencer Dinwiddie,” Action Network’s Matt Moore wrote on January 21. “[He] is likely to generate a market before the deadline.”

Dinwiddie, 30, is averaging 13.5 points, 6.1 assists, and 3.5 rebounds this season.

He has extensive experience playing both on and off the ball, having partnered with Luka Doncic with the Dallas Mavericks and Kyrie Irving while with the Nets. Dinwiddie averaged 10.9 assists over his final 15 appearances last season, operating as Brooklyn’s lead guard.

A career 33.3% shooter from deep in his career, Dinwiddie is at that mark on the season. That won’t solve the Lakers’ three-point shooting woes.

They rank 18th in three-point efficiency and 30th in attempts per game.

Dinwiddie is in the final year of a three-year, $54 million contract. That would keep the Lakers from committing to anything long-term beyond this season. He should also be more affordable to acquire compared to his fellow trade targets in terms of draft compensation.

But it could also make it more difficult to square trading away the assets they do have.

Lakers Struggling to Generate Trade Interest in D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura

This could be as much about aiming lower as it is about who is available, with some of the Lakers’ previously rumored targets bearing multiple red flags like Zach LaVine. Or they could be out of the Lakers’ price range if they can’t turn player contracts into draft capital like Dejounte Murray.

“The Lakers, as was the case in June, will have a hard time finding a taker for D’Angelo Russell in such a deal, and Rui Hachimura‘s value has dipped some as well,” Moore continued. “The Lakers’ interest in a trade is significant, but given that they may be dealing from a serious position of compromised leverage, there’s skepticism a deal will surface.”

Moore lists Malcolm Brogdon and Gary Trent Jr. as two other potential trade targets. But to get Murray, their top target, per Moore, the Lakers need a third team to take on Russell.

Adding more teams can make completing trades more difficult.

That is especially true if other teams view Russell and Hachimura – and Gabe Vincent – as “neutral-to-negative” in terms of trade value, as The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reported was the case on January 19.

Lakers’ Recent Surge Could Offer Reason for Optimism

Those things are all likely factors in Moore’s stance that the Lakers could have difficulty coming by a suitable deal.

Their recent surge, winning three of their last four games, certainly helps.

But as the trade deadline looms, every dropped game will continue to make the calls for something to be done will only grow louder. How the Lakers handle that could help them continue to improve on the floor.