After trading Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Mike Muscala before the February NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers created one roster spot that they could use to sign a quality player who is or will be available on the buyout market. In the past months, rumors and speculation were circulating that the Lakers would sign Carmelo Anthony, a close pal of LeBron James.
However, days before the March 1 playoff-eligibility waiver deadline, the Carmelo Anthony-to-Lakers rumors are no longer gaining any traction. According to Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times, the Lakers are keeping an eye on other players and could use their open roster spot to sign another big man.
“The Lakers wouldn’t mind adding another big man, according to people not authorized to speak publicly. But one player the Lakers can forget about is Knicks center DeAndre Jordan, because New York has no intention of buying him out, according to one person.”
Unfortunately, as Turner noted, the Lakers’ top target, DeAndre Jordan, isn’t expected to be bought out by his current team before the March 1 playoff-eligibility waiver deadline. When they acquired Jordan in a blockbuster deal with the Dallas Mavericks, the New York Knicks opened up the possibility that they could make the All-Star center part of their long-term future. The Knicks believe that keeping Jordan for the remainder of the 2018-19 NBA season could help them recruit big names in the 2019 NBA free agency, specifically Golden State Warriors small forward Kevin Durant.
With DeAndre Jordan unlikely to be available, the Lakers may consider chasing other big men on the buyout market, including Marcin Gortat, Zach Randolph, and Greg Monroe. However, according to Christian Rivas of SB Nation’s Silver Screen And Roll, none of those big men would be a good fit with the Lakers.
“But, if Jordan’s not coming to L.A., who is? Unfortunately, as it stands, there are no names that jump out as clear fits for this Lakers team. If it’s a big man they want, Marcin Gortat, Greg Monroe and Zach Randolph are all available, but their fits on the roster are questionable at best.”
Of all the three veteran centers, Zach Randolph is the one who is currently being linked to the Lakers. Recently on Twitter, Brandon Robinson of Heavy revealed that Randolph was seen in a gym in Los Angeles wearing Lakers “sweatsuits.” Randolph last played for the Sacramento Kings where he averaged 14.5 points and 6.7 rebounds on 47.3 percent shooting from the field and 34.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.