Even with a convincing win last night against the woeful Atlanta Hawks, the Lakers are still at the bottom of the Western Conference tied with the Grizzlies at 12-27. The Lakers aren’t going to contend for the playoffs and the front office maybe looking to make moves.
Rumors are starting to swirl as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN stated that “The Lakers have made it clear that Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance are available.” Wojnarowski also noted “The Los Angeles Lakers, needing to shed salary for summer free agency, had been hopeful of waiting until the end of the season to move Jordan Clarkson — owed $26 million beyond this season — but there’s a mutual desire to find something sooner than later.”
“Los Angeles has given up hope on unloading Luol Deng’s contract in a trade because it would simply necessitate attaching too many draft assets.
The Lakers and Deng haven’t discussed a buyout since late November, but he can simply wait until the season is over to get the full balance of the $37 million owed to him once the Lakers inevitably use the waive and stretch provision to clear salary-cap space.”
It’s no surprise that players are on the trading block the way the season has gone. The front office might feel like they have to do something in order to salvage what is left of another disappointing season, and to persuade potential free agents that they’re just not going to sit around waiting for a young team to develop. The Lakers have had losing seasons since 2013 and it’s been getting worse year by year. The team has a great young core with a bright future, but the Lakers want to start winning and make progress sooner. It is rumored that the Lakers will be targeting LeBron James, Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins this summer, with George/Cousins as possible acquisitions at the trade deadline. Whenever players are moved, it’s always a big story in L.A. and we’ll have to stay tuned.