Following the departure of LeBron James, things have been a bit chaotic in Los Angeles. The Lakers are still trying to figure out how to fill their roster and with this being such an uncertain time for them it is hard to predict what they will do next.
As the NBA offseason drags on, it seems like every day brings a new report about who’s trading and who’s staying put. While all this is happening in real time, we wanted to take a look back at some of the biggest trades and free agent signings that happened before July 1st.
The “lakers rumors trade” is a topic that has been trending recently. The Lakers have the cap space to sign any player in the NBA, but they are also looking for players via trade or buyout. Five players who would be perfect for the Lakers are listed below.
With the Los Angeles Lakers hovering around.500, one has to wonder when the organization will attempt to sign another player. With championship aspirations, the Lakers’ summer was a whirlwind. Instead, the squad has an abysmal record and is towards the bottom of the postseason rankings.
The Lakers qualified for the playoffs as the No. 7 overall seed last season. The Phoenix Suns beat them in the first round, and they were eliminated early. The Lakers have dealt with injuries in the past with Anthony Davis, but they are now dealing with a similar situation with LeBron James this season. You can’t enter the playoffs as a seven seed and expect to make a run to the NBA Finals in today’s world.
The mindset is for the squad to win right now, given that the Lakers built this group with championship ambitions in mind. The Lakers aren’t winning right now, plain and simple. Some athletes have the potential to make an instant impact right now. These five players might be a trade or buyout possibility for the Lakers.
Terrence Ross has agreed to a buyout.
Ross has a team-friendly deal, but the Lakers aren’t in a position to move him. Ross might be taken up by another club, but if he isn’t, the Lakers could pounce if the two sides can agree on a buyout. Ross is owed $12 million this season and $11 million next, but the Magic are in the midst of a complete rebuild. Franz Wagner, a lottery choice in last year’s draft, has become the team’s primary quarterback, relegating regulated Ross to a backup position.
Ross is averaging 10.1 points per possession and shooting just over 26% from three-point range. Ross has a 36 percent career three-point shooting. There has to be a reason to believe that his stats are down because he isn’t getting into a rhythm during games, allowing younger players to earn more playing time. Ross may become dissatisfied with his current employment and desire to be released.
Kent Bazemore, the team’s backup small forward, is averaging 4.9 points per game for the Lakers. Bazemore is no longer a significant contributor. The Lakers are in serious need of outside shooting. At this point in his career, a contender cannot depend just on Carmelo Anthony. Ross would be really helpful in this regard.
Buyout of John Wall
John Wall doesn’t need the money these days since he has a deal that pays him like a top-three player in the NBA. For the next two seasons, Wall is owed $91 million. The Houston Rockets are looking for a new team to sign the guard to. The Rockets have agreed not to play Wall in order to focus on developing their youthful nucleus of Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green. They also don’t want Wall, who is prone to injuries, to get hurt and lose his trade value.
Unfortunately, the Wall isn’t really valuable. He is no longer the All-Star point guard he once was. There aren’t many clubs willing to take on a two-year deal at over $91 million. There’s a chance Wall may wait and collect the money owing to him, but if he wants to make a run to the NBA Finals, he could opt for a buyout.
As the team’s backup point guard, Rajon Rondo is averaging 3.5 points and 4.6 assists. These aren’t exactly eye-popping figures. Last season, Wall led Houston with 20.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game. For the time being, Russell Westbrook has the starting position locked up, but Wall coming off the bench would be a fantastic one-two punch. That is, if Wall is interested in pursuing history rather than money.
Kevin Love has agreed to a buyout.
Before the season began, Love was expected to earn $31 million and $28 million the next season. He is set to become a free agency in 2023, but he has fallen out of favor with the Cavaliers. Love has averaged 9.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game over the last seven games. Love is disposable through trade or buyout since the Cavaliers are contending without him in the rotation.
Love’s market worth is a ghost town, given that he earns over $30 million. Love will have the opportunity to sit on the bench as a backup option to Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Love, on the other hand, is 33 years old and has a skill set that may help a club deficient in frontcourt depth. When LeBron James is healthy, the Lakers use him as the team’s power forward. If Love can play considerable minutes, LeBron will be able to return to his small forward position.
Love isn’t as awful as his statistics suggest. Love also has a connection to LeBron since the two spent four years together in Cleveland, reaching the NBA Finals four times and winning the title in 2016. Why not attempt running it back one more time if both of their careers are nearing the end?
Collin Sexton is a trade target.
Collin Sexton, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, and a 2027 first-round pick in exchange for Collin Sexton, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, and a 2027 first-round pick
If you’re Collin Sexton, the worst-case scenario is now unfolding. The Cavaliers are contending, which is excellent for the club because it’s the first time since LeBron James departed for Los Angeles that they’ve been relevant. Sexton was the team’s lottery selection in the 2018 NBA Draft and was seen as the franchise’s future. The issue is that Sexton has been a part of three terrible Cleveland teams and isn’t a key player for the current squad.
Sexton is in the last year of his deal, and he’s putting up some of his lowest numbers in four years. Sexton’s future with the Cavaliers has already sparked speculation. The club now looks to have a chance to receive something in exchange for a player who isn’t in their plans. Sexton has a 16.0 point, 3.3 rebound, and 2.1 assist per game average. A 24.4 percent three-point field goal percentage is also included. All of these numbers are down from last season’s 24.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 37.1 percent outside shooting.
With just 11 games under his belt, there’s reason to hope Sexton can turn things around. If the Cavaliers don’t want to retain him, the Lakers should take advantage of the situation. Now is the time for Sexton to take over as the team’s starting shooting guard. Kendrick Nunn isn’t producing for the Lakers in current rotation, so he’s disposable, while the first-round selection isn’t important right now. The 22-year-old Sexton would cost the squad a young body in Talen Horton-Tucker, but titles often come at a cost.
Trade by Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes, DeAndre Jordan, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, and a 2027 first-round pick for DeAndre Jordan, Talen Horton-Tucker, and a 2027 first-round pick
If the Lakers wanted to add another piece to their puzzle, they could persuade the Sacramento Kings to let Harrison Barnes go. The Lakers could afford Barnes this year and next with a budget of $20 million this season and $18 million next season. The team would be able to match because of the combined pay. Jordan is also on a one-year agreement, while Nunn has a player option.
There’s no certainty that Russell Westbrook will exercise his $47 million player option for next season, but the organization may make it work. The total value of Westbrook, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Barnes, and Austin Reaves is $147 million. With a salary of about $16.7 million this season, the Lakers have already committed to paying the luxury tax this season and next. It would be difficult to find roster sports, but that is a choice for the general manager to make.
Barnes is averaging 20.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 42.3 percent shooting from three-point range this season. Given the team’s lack of three-point shooting, this would be a major boost. A starting lineup of Westbrook, Avery Bradley, Barnes, LeBron, and Davis may be used. Barnes would compensate for Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-output Pope’s losses. This will come with a hefty luxury tax burden, but if it comes with a championship, ownership must decide if the juice is worth the squeezing.
Returning to Cleveland and winning a championship with Bronny James with a talented team would be the ideal way to end LeBron James’ career.
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