The L.A. Lakers are not having a good season, and that is blatantly obvious. They have the second worst record in the entire league, and are in last place in the Western Conference. With the NBA trade deadline quickly approaching, some moves are likely going to be made which will see players coming in and going out of Los Angeles. As of now, it looks like Brandon Bass, Roy Hibbert, and Nick Young are the top three candidates to head out.
With a record of 9-35, pretty much no one is safe, but it does seem like the younger players such as Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, and Jordan Clarkson are probably not going anywhere. HNGN is reporting that the newcomers who arrived with the team before this season aren’t so lucky, and a name such as Brandon Bass may be dealt.
Bass is averaging 6.4 points-per-game and 4.1 rebounds-per-game, which are both his lowest since the 2009 season. It doesn’t help that he’s also averaging less than 18-minutes-per-game, mostly coming off of the bench.
He did lead the Lakers with 18 points in Wednesday night’s loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, and that can do nothing but help Los Angeles. A few more outings like this, and the Lakers could see some more offers come in for him from other teams.
One issue is that he’s been dealing with a sore knee, sore ankle, and also a foot injury. Some fans may balk at making a trade for him, as well, because he’s signed for another season and doesn’t have an expiring contract.
Two other names are currently on the trading block for the Lakers, and BasketballInsiders says that they aren’t really anything new. One is guard Nick Young who has been the subject of trade rumors for almost a year now.
Young’s playing time is down this season, but only by four minutes from last year yet his production has been cut in half. He’s averaging just 7.7 points-per-game, 1.6 rebounds, and just 0.5 assists. That’s his worst PPG average since his rookie season (7.5) and his lowest for assists.
That could cause an issue as some teams may not see him as overly valuable, but they’ve seen what he’s capable of in past season. The Lakers couldn’t get anyone to bite on a preseason trade for Young, but it seems they’re willing to try again.
Roy Hibbert is another name that the Lakers have thrown in when making calls around the league to see what some players are worth. His numbers are down, but he could benefit from being in a different system and scheme with another team.
The issue in trying to deal Hibbert though is his contract. He has an expiring contract, and that is a good thing, but he’s also earning $15.5 million this season. There may not be a lot of interest on the market for him, but if the Lakers could find a team willing to make a deal, they would certainly listen.
Los Angeles is building its team right now around a central group of young players, and they’re hoping to go after some big-name talent in the offseason.
Lakers Nation reports that the team could end up offering shooting guard DeMar DeRozan a max contract if he opts out of his deal with the Toronto Raptors. As of now, the Lakers are going to have an estimated $65 million in salary cap space, and that means making a run at a number of players.
A max contract deal to DeRozan would start at $25 million per season, and that seems like a lot, but it appears as if it’s the way the Lakers are heading if he opts out.
Obviously, there will be some other big targets that the Lakers could go after in free agency, and the most prized name will be Kevin Durant. They will be far from the only team chasing him, but they are one of the few that can offer him the kind of deal he will be looking for.
If Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat can stay healthy, he will generate a lot of free agency interest too.
The L.A. Lakers have a lot of options right now, and that’s a good thing, considering how bad this season has already gone. Something has to be done and moves need to be made, and there isn’t much time left this season before the trade deadline arrives. That being said, the Lakers are looking to find deals for Roy Hibbert, Brandon Bass, and Nick Young.
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