The NBA trade deadline is just around the corner and basketball pundits have made their last-minute proposals and predictions on which players could be moved across the league. One suggestion said that the Los Angeles Lakers might proceed with their 2018 free-agency plan and trade Jordan Clarkson to the Atlanta Hawks for a package that includes Marco Belinelli.
Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale recently listed down a suggested trade for each NBA team in his article “Everything You Need to Know About Your Team’s 2018 NBA Trade Deadline.” He had two proposals for the Lakers, and one of them discussed a potential deal that would send Clarkson and Ivica Zubac to the Hawks for Belinelli and starting center Dewayne Dedmon.
Favale indicated that the trade was “in the name of 2018 free agency” as reports came out that the Lakers have shifted their focus from this summer to the 2019 free agent market when stars like Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, and Kawhi Leonard will all become available.
Looking at the financial side of the proposed trade, the Hawks would receive Clarkson’s $12.5 million cap hit next season, which becomes $13.4 million in 2019-2020. Zubac is merely a filler and would become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2019.
Meanwhile, the Lakers would achieve their goal by getting the expiring contract of Belinelli while Dedmon has a player option at the end of the season and may decide to become an unrestricted free agent as well. Dedmon has a $6.3 million cap hit next season should he choose to opt in.
When it comes to on-court benefits, Atlanta obtains one of the best substitute players in the league today in Clarkson. The 2015 NBA All-Rookie First Team member has been a beast off the bench for head coach Luke Walton this season, averaging 14.5 points, 3.3 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in only 23.7 minutes per game.
Zubac is a young prospect and fan-favorite who could develop well under Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer. He has not played that much (only 3.6 minutes per game) this season, but Atlanta’s thin frontcourt could give him the break he deserves.
Belinelli and Dedmon are both experienced players who could help the Lakers’ young core. Even if the two spends only a half-season with the squad, they can still impart some things that may prove to be valuable in the long run.
The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported that the Hawks have already notified Belinelli that he would get traded by Thursday’s deadline, “with multiple teams interested,” and it is unclear whether it would be a deal with the Lakers.