NBA Rumors: Lakers Could Target JR Smith, Markieff Morris Before Trade Deadline, ‘Fansided’ Suggests

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Although most trade rumors surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers center on the possibility of acquiring Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, most observers do not expect this deal to push forward until the 2019 offseason, at the very earliest. As the NBA’s February trade deadline is just a few weeks away, the Lakers might need to focus on surrounding LeBron James with role players, and with that in mind, a new article from Fansided NBA blog Sir Charles in Charge recommended some potential targets for Los Angeles — including a few names that have seldom been mentioned, if at all, in connection with the Lakers.

Aside from bringing up the possibility of the Lakers trading for Miami Heat shooting guard Wayne Ellington, which echoed an earlier rumor from the Sporting News, Sir Charles in Charge suggested unexpected names such as Kent Bazemore of the Atlanta Hawks and J.R. Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers, predicting that either one of these two shooting guards could help the Lakers in the final months of the regular season leading into the playoffs. The publication, however, warned that both players’ current contracts could cost the Lakers valuable salary cap space — and make it harder for them to make a big splash in free agency during the offseason.

While Smith’s name has not often been brought up as a potential Lakers acquisition, ClutchPoints recommended the former Sixth Man of the Year winner in an article last month. The publication made the point that Los Angeles could trade for him, and send backup shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the Cavaliers. Prior to his deactivation in November, Smith was averaging only 6.7 points per game on 34 percent shooting for Cleveland.

As further suggested by Sir Charles in Charge, the Lakers could also work on improving their frontcourt rotation ahead of the February trade deadline, particularly since playoff rotations usually involve fewer players and prioritize those who are proven veterans. To this end, the Fansided blog suggested Washington Wizards power forward Markieff Morris, who could also play center in small-ball lineups and shoot three-pointers quite well for a big man.

Currently, Morris is averaging 11.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists for the Wizards — while shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from the three-point line. As noted by Sir Charles in Charge, the shooting percentages represent a slight decline from last year’s numbers, where the 29-year-old former first-round draft pick shot a career-high 48 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc.

“If the Wizards continue to struggle, they could quickly become sellers in the next few weeks and could look to move some of their veterans, such as Morris,” Sir Charles in Charge forecasted.

The above trade recommendations were made shortly after the Lakers’ Christmas Day win over the Golden State Warriors, which saw LeBron James go down with a groin injury. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, James is listed as day-to-day and isn’t expected to miss much time, but there had previously been concerns that a slightly longer absence could ultimately hurt his team’s chances of making the playoffs.