The L.A. Lakers have now lost nine in a row and are coming incredibly close to having the worst record in the entire NBA. The Philadelphia 76ers currently have that distinction, but they aren’t playing as bad. With a record of 9-40, the playoffs are not even a possibility right now, and it’s time to rebuild. That being said, the Lakers are looking in that direction and there are rumors that as many as four veterans and even one rookie are on the trading block.
In a bit of shocking news, the Lakers are looking to possibly trade away the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft in D’Angelo Russell, according to Christian Post. The 19-year-old has been looked at as the successor to Kobe Bryant who is retiring at the end of this season, but that may have changed.
D’Angelo Russell and second-year forward Julius Randle are two of the players that Bryant reportedly called out by name after going off on the team last week. That was after the Lakers had lost their sixth game in a row, and Bryant believed guys weren’t giving their all.
Now, they’re at nine losses in a row and Russell is on the trading block.
It is indeed being reported that the Lakers have started fielding offers for Russell and looking to see if anyone bites. Russell is currently averaging 12 points, 3.4 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game, but his work ethic is drawing a lot of criticism per the L.A. Times, and the Lakers may be ready to deal him.
Russell is far from the only player that the L.A. Lakers are trying to move as there are a number of veterans who could be traded before the NBA’s deadline on Feb. 18. Four veterans are reportedly on the trading block, and three of them just joined the Lakers in the offseason.
Marc Stein of ESPN believes that the Lakers are surely not trying to hide the fact that they have players they want to move.
“Denver is making no secret of veteran forward JJ Hickson’s availability. Ditto for the Los Angeles Lakers and a number of veterans on their roster: Roy Hibbert, Brandon Bass, Nick Young and Lou Williams. We should note, however, that Hibbert possesses the only expiring contract in that quartet. Bass holds a $3.1 million player option for next season.”
The L.A. Lakers have long had plans to trade away Nick Young, and that goes back to the offseason, but there were never any serious offers for him. Roy Hibbert and Brandon Bass have played decent this season, but Los Angeles wouldn’t be against moving them either.
New to the list is that of forward Lou Williams and he’s quite possibly the most attractive piece of trade bait the Lakers have.
Williams has been one of the lone bright spots for the Lakers this season as he’s averaging 15.4 points-per-game and brings a lot of veteran leadership to the team. If he’s not traded this season, he may be one of the few left around after it is over and the Lakers begin unloading a number of other veterans.
At one point this season, the Lakers have been connected to rumors that Dwight Howard could return to the team via a trade with the Houston Rockets. The Dream Shake is now saying that the chance of Howard getting traded to any team this season is a very small one.
The L.A. Lakers have also been rumored to be looking at trades for DeMarcus Cousins and most recently, Blake Griffin. The latter may have seemed like a long-shot before, but now it’s not looking quite as impossible as once thought.
Any of the four veterans — Nick Young, Brandon Bass, Lou Williams, and Roy Hibbert — being traded by the L.A. Lakers shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The idea that rookie guard D’Angelo Russell is on the block is quite shocking, but the Lakers are doing so poorly this season that no one appears to be safe.
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