NBA trade rumors involving the Los Angeles Lakers abound as the league's trade deadline approaches. In one of the latest speculations regarding the squad, five players could move to the Hollywood club soon, including the Utah Jazz pair of Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood.
Favors and Hood have reportedly been on the trading block for quite some time now for two separate reasons.
Favors, 26, is an eight-year veteran who can score, crash the boards, and defend on a high level consistently. However, he is perceived to be an ill-fit alongside Jazz starting center Rudy Gobert as the tandem fails to space the floor effectively because of their similar playing styles.
Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Hood is known as a reliable wing defender and three-point shooter. However, he is set to become a restricted free agent this summer and Utah could lose him for nothing if the player chooses to sign with another squad.
Hoops Hype reported in early January that the Jazz are looking for a "roster shakeup" and Favors' name could be the first one in their to-go list. A rumored deal with the Chicago Bulls involving Nikola Mirotic had emerged, but Mirotic was eventually traded to the New Orleans Pelicans last week.
Hood is also a top trade candidate for the Jazz, according to a report from the NBA's official website. The report said that while the former Duke standout is "having the best shooting season of his career," his "effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage are both below the league average," which makes him a trade asset.
Hashtag Basketball's Joshua Toussaint suggested a wild four-way deal that would send the pair and three other players from different squads to the Lakers.
The proposed trade scenario looks something like this: Utah's Favors and Hood, Sacramento's Vince Carter and Garrett Temple, and Cleveland's Channing Frye go to the Lakers; Cleveland's Kyle Korver and the Los Angeles duo of Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. head to the Jazz; the Lakers' Brook Lopez and the Kings' George Hill join the Cavaliers; and Jazz shooting guard Alec Burks and the Cavs' Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert, plus Cleveland's 2018 first-round draft pick, move to the Kings.
The Lakers wanting to create more salary cap space is probably the league's worst-kept secret, and they get what they want with the expiring contracts of Favors, Hood, Carter, and Frye.
Toussaint noted that should L.A. fail to acquire two big-name free agents this summer, re-signing Favors and Hood would be a good move as well. Both players are still on their way to their primes and could be key players for the young Lakers moving forward.
Favors would give the Lakers a "solid starting center" that complements well with floor-spacer Kyle Kuzma as their potential starting frontcourt next season, Toussaint said. Hood could come off the bench and provide a spark on both ends of the floor.