The Los Angeles Lakers are currently at the bottom of the West with an 11-25 slate after losing seven straight games and 10 of their last 11 matches. The absence of some of their key players, such as Lonzo Ball and Brook Lopez, due to injuries have taken its toll during the past month.
Despite their recent struggles, the Lakers are still in the middle of the NBA’s rumor mill with three superstars being linked to the club. Here are the latest rumors about them.
Paul George For Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Ivica Zubac
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George’s name has been mentioned alongside his hometown squad for quite some time now. Ahead of the Thunder’s game versus the Lakers on Wednesday night, George has failed to quell the rumors.
In one instance, George said that he has “no regrets at all” about publicly telling that he wanted to play for the Lakers when he becomes a free agent in the summer. He said that “80 or 70 percent of the guys in the league” would give the same answer, and that it was just a generic statement, per the Bleacher Report.
Meanwhile, CBS Sports reported that George was all praises about Ball, saying that the Lakers’ rookie “at his age” is “one of the best basketball players that have played this game.” He also said that Ball “has a knack to play the game the right way,” which could indicate his willingness to play alongside the 20-year-old point guard.
George is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July and moving to La La Land seems to be a highly probable option for him at the moment.
Despite that, there are some pundits who believe the Lakers will trade for the former NBA Most Improved Player before the deadline rather than waiting for free agency in the offseason.
FanSided’s Hoops Habit blog suggested a trade that would send Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Ivica Zubac to the Thunder in exchange for George.
DeMarcus Cousins For Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and future first-round pick
DeMarcus Cousins is another big-name player presently being brought up in the Lakers’ rumor mill.
Cousins will also become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and with the way things are going in New Orleans, rumors abound that Boogie would choose to find a new home soon.
A separate Bleacher Report article suggested a Lakers-Pelicans trade centered on Cousins, with New Orleans ending up getting Randle, Clarkson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and a 2020 first-round draft pick.
However, Metro USA’s Matt Burke opined that the Pelicans “would have to go on a major downward spiral” before they even consider trading Boogie. The team is at the eighth spot in the West right now with an even 18-18 record. They are on a two-game losing slide after winning three straight games.
Anthony Davis Plus Assets For Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, And More
Cousins’ teammate, Anthony Davis, is the third All-Star rumored to be in the Lakers’ target board before the trade deadline.
Davis would most probably be a long-shot for the Lakers because according to some analysts, the Boston Celtics are still the number one team in play should the Pelicans decide to trade the former Kentucky standout.
Nevertheless, Give Me Sports’ Conor Porter suggested a deal that would move Davis, Alexis Ajinca, and Ian Clark to Los Angeles in exchange for Randle, Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and a 2020 first-round draft pick.
The proposed trade would clearly gut out the Lakers’ array of potential future stars with the inclusion of Ingram and Kuzma, but Porter noted that “it will provide a good lure” in the summer when George, Cousins, and LeBron James are on the market.
In a lesser trade suggestion, Cavs Nation’s Brandon Lee proposed a trade that would send Cleveland Cavaliers players Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert to the Lakers for Clarkson.
Lee noted that Frye and Shumpert are some of the “worst members” of the Cavaliers’ bench and that the two should be traded soon if the team wants to provide a better challenge against the Golden State Warriors.
Clarkson has been in almost all trade conversations regarding the Lakers. Along with Randle, he is evidently one of the Lakers’ best trade assets at the moment. His remarkable play off the bench had even made some analysts predict of a potential Sixth Man of the Year nomination for the Filipino-American.