Are The Lakers Set To Make A Move For Derrick Rose?

(Image/The Detroit News)

The NBA trade deadline is just 3 weeks away. With that comes a whole host of rumours and murmurs from around the association. Some teams are looking to strengthen their rosters to push for postseason success, whilst others are content becoming sellers and are looking to the future.

Many media outlets have suggested that the Los Angeles Lakers may be looking for further depth at the point guard position. We did cover various options, as well as forward possibilities, in our previous article here.

The same media outlets are labeling the Detroit Pistons “sellers”. In-fact, it’s got to the point where it’s believed that they will conduct a “fire sale” and halt for the season. Entering tanking mode. Especially following the decision to shut Blake Griffin down indefinitely.

The Pistons appear to be actively shopping Andre Drummond, who has a $28.7 million player option on his contract for next season. But it is believed that he could potentially test free-agency.

However, in terms of the Lakers, it isn’t Drummond that catches the eye. Instead, it’s former MVP Derrick Rose that does.

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(Image/Slam.com)

Whispers around the league are suggesting that Rose to the Lakers could be gaining traction. Also, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report included in his trade deadline predictions that such move could be made.

Derrick Rose needs no introduction at all. Especially from his antics in a Chicago Bulls jersey. Although, his time in Chicago did come to an end in 2016 and since he has bounced around the NBA, with the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Detroit Pistons.

Rose has featured in 36 of the Pistons’ 42 games so far this season. His averages, in just 25.8 minutes per game are; 18.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 5.8 assists, on 49% shooting. Is the 31-year-old back to his old self?

Well, it appears so. He is averaging the most points and assists since the 2011/12 season. Plus, he’s currently riding a streak of scoring 20+ points in the last 7 consecutive games. Even though there are injury concerns, Rose would fit a need for the Lakers, 100 per cent.

LeBron James and Derrick Rose both featured on the same roster in Cleveland back in 2017, but that was short lived. Rose played in just 16 games, suffered numerous injuries, and left the team due to personal reasons.

The 31-year-old guard is most certainly a different player nowadays though. He’s a more willing passer and has re-found that scoring touch from his earlier years. In limited minutes too. He has hit 20+ points on 17 occasions this season. He has also passed the 10-assist mark on 2 occasions.

Rose is on a tradable contract of $7.3 million, including $7.6 million for next season. Fitting in with the Lakers’ 2-year time frame of chasing a Championship. In addition, those contract numbers make it a lot easier to match salaries.

However, even though the Lakers do have a 1st round draft pick incoming this season. They are unable to trade it, due to the Anthony Davis deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, who own the majority of the Lakers’ picks moving forward. The next 2nd-round pick that the purple and gold own is in 2023.

Some additional moves may have to be made to gain some assets to trigger such a trade for Rose. Unless a haul of players, including Kyle Kuzma most likely, could tempt the Pistons, who will have a high price on Rose. And rightly so.

If the Lakers do trade on 2/3 players, whether it be for Rose or another player, it would instantly bring in an option to strengthen the roster. Whilst also opening up spots to test the free-agency/buy-out market. That’s where the likes of Darren Collison and Andre Iguodala come into play, among others.


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Potential Trade Targets For The Lakers

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(Image/FanSided)

The Los Angeles Lakers are flying high at the top of the Western Conference, at present time. But that doesn’t stop rumours circling as the team are in need of another guard option, as well as a wing presence.

With the trade deadline fast approaching (February 6) and with the Lakers being, well the Lakers, speculation is running wild. Assets held by the purple and gold were demolished when Rob Pelinka and Co, this past summer, executed a trade to acquire superstar Anthony Davis. Kyle Kuzma appears to be the bait dangled in any trade packages speculated.

A recent report from Sam Amick of The Athletic states that the Lakers front office are entertaining offers for Kuzma. Later in the report, Amick suggested that this appears to be Pelinka doing his due diligence. Fans have been frustrated with the performances of Kuzma, who has had an injury-hit, inconsistent season so far, as he struggles to find his place on this now title contending Lakers team.

His trainer recently outing LeBron James in a social media rant certainly doesn’t help matters either. But apparently James and Kuzma’s relationship is intact according to various reports.

Plenty of trade options have been suggested in the media, which will be included in the round-up that follows:

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(Image/Rick Scuteri/Associated Press)

Bogdan Bogdanovic

Marc Stein of The New York Times tweeted on January 6 that the Sacramento Kings are among the teams interested in Kyle Kuzma, according to league sources. Stein went on to suggest that the Kings are aware that they would have to include 27-year-old guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, for starters, in any deal.

Bogdanovic is a ball-handling guard who can finish at the rim, and can be lights out from beyond the arc, on his day. He also has the ability to share the ball and create for others. So far this season, he is averaging 14.5 points, 3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.1 steals, on 42.6% shooting, 38.3% from 3.

A later report from Sam Amick did hint that the Kings aren’t interested in a Kuzma-Bogdanovic trade straight up, hinting that the salaries aren’t even close. Bogdanonic is on a $8.5 million contract, Kuzma is on $1.9 million.

Jason Jones, who is a Kings reporter for The Athletic recently tweeted that Sacramento would have to be “blown away” with an offer for the 27-year-old sharpshooter and are content with his up-coming restricted free agent status.

But then, a recent report from Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times stated that the Lakers General Manager has “initiated a call” with the Kings to “gauge interest in Kuzma”.

It appears that a lot of work would need to be done to get a deal for Bogdan Bogdanovic over the line, especially with his $8.5 million contract. But he would very much fill a need for the Lakers, and would he be a better fit than Kuzma? Some think so.

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(Image/FanSided)

Davis Bertans

Another name linked with the purple and gold, is 27-year-old Latvian, Davis Bertans. This is only his 4th season in the NBA, but Bertans is slowly making a name for himself, especially for his antics from 3-point land.

Currently with the Washington Wizards, Bertans is shooting at an impressive 43.4% clip from beyond the arc. This is the 9th best conversion rate in the entire league. Throughout his 4 seasons, he is a 41.1% shooter from 3. That’s exactly what the Lakers need, right?

Well, it appears so. NBC’s Chase Hughes recently reported that multiple teams were interested in acquiring the services of Bertans, despite the Wizards wanting to re-sign him this summer. The teams mentioned were; the Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and of course, the Lakers.

There has been no mention of what would be included in a potential deal, but with Davis Bertans being a guard, being a sharpshooter, and having a breakout season, he certainly fits the mold for what the Lakers are looking to add to the roster.

In terms of contract status, his is currently on an expiring $7 million deal.

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(Image/Mark Sobhani/NBAE/Getty Images)

D.J. Augustin

This was one of the first names linked with the purple and gold via the trade market, D.J. Augustin of the Orlando Magic.

Heavy.com reported the Lakers’ apparent interest in the 32-year-old guard, suggesting that they have “inquired about a number of veteran point guards to help upgrade their backcourt”.

Former number 1 pick, Markelle Fultz seems to have revived his career in Orlando and has a strong hold in the starting line-up. Consequently, the Magic may be open to parting ways with Augustin.

With that, Augustin would certainly fit the bill with what the Lakers currently require. For starters, he’s a guard. He’s also a 3-point threat, a 38% career 3-point shooter. Additionally, he converts at a solid rate from the free-throw line.

Much like Bertans, D.J. Augustin is on an expiring $7.2 million contract.

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Robert Covington

Another need for the Lakers, aside from the backcourt, is out on the wing. This is where the Minnesota TimberwolvesRobert Covington comes into the frame.

Covington has been on the lips of Laker fans before the rumours starting circling. In an official capacity, it was ESPN’s Bobby Marks that first reported a potential package of Kuzma, Quinn Cook and DeMarcus Cousins as a proposal for Covington. But it wasn’t made clear if that would be enough for Minnesota to part ways with the 29-year-old forward.

Here’s the thing, while he would be a much-needed presence on the wing, Covington is an average career 3-point shooter that puts up basic numbers. He does rebound well but his numbers are similar to that of a “struggling” Kuzma this season.

Plus, he is currently within a 4-year, $46.8 million contract that will see him get paid $11.3 million this season, $12.1 million next season and $12.9 million the following.

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(Image/Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Marcus Morris

As we entered 2020, the New York KnicksMarcus Morris emerged as a potential trade option for the Lakers. Alongside city rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, SNY’s Ian Begley suggested that the purple and gold were monitoring the market for Morris, doing their due dilligence.

The 30-year-old versatile forward is having a career-high season in points per game (19.1). He’s converting at an impressive 46.9% rate from beyond the arc, also a career-high. He can play both forward positions effectively and can be a spark off the bench, much like during his time with the Boston Celtics.

Marcus Morris fits the bill and more for what the Lakers are looking for, in a wing presence. This season he is red hot and them shooting numbers off the bench are Lou Williams-esque.

However, as with all of the above options, the contract poses a problem. As Morris is on an expiring $15 million deal. Many pieces would have to be moved in order to match salaries and complete a move.


Will the Lakers make a trade? Maybe, maybe not. It’s hard to say at present time given the success that the team is experiencing.

Tania Ganguli on January 10 stated that the Lakers are listening to trade offers for everyone, except LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Although, Ganguli added that Rob Pelinka and Co are not actually desperate to make a trade, unless the right deal comes along before the February 6 deadline.

Kyle Kuzma has stepped up in recent games, against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks, too. Dropping 36 points in the prior, and 26 in the latter. Being instrumental in picking 2 road victories, in the absence of star Anthony Davis, and LeBron James as well against the Thunder.

In fact, in the last 10 contests, Kuzma is averaging 17.6 points and 4.6 rebounds, on 44.5% shooting, with impressively less than 1 turnover per game.

Should the Lakers even part-ways with the 24-year-old to begin with? Possibly not. Or maybe other pieces of the Lakers’ roster could be packaged together and moved? It’s all a jigsaw at present time, but one that should become more clearer as February approaches.


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The Anthony Davis Trade from a Pelicans Perspective

(Image/Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Since the Anthony Davis deal was announced, social media has been full of opinions on who “won” the trade. Media coverage has been widespread, which has sparked debate between fans of the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans.

The deal does suit both teams, who are on different time-frames. With the Lakers acquiring a second star in an attempt to win instantly, and the Pelicans receiving a solid young core and draft picks, as they opt for, what they hope to be, a short rebuild.

Obviously the coverage that we have been providing has all been from a Lakers perspective. However to balance this, we have reached out to ‘Pelicans UK‘, who were created earlier this month, to get their viewpoint on the trade. We did cover a variety topics, including; Davis’ tenure in New Orleans, the Pelicans’ future moving forward, and more.

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(Image/NBA.com)

Q: We see that you’ve been on Twitter since early June, welcome to the #NBAintheUK community. How long have you been a Pelicans fan for?

Pelicans UK: “Honestly, I’ve been a fan since around 2007. I remember it was JR’s last season with the Hornets before we traded for Tyson Chandler and finished as the #2 seed (those were the good days) and won the division title before a horrendous game 7 against the Spurs ended our dreams.”

Q: On June 15, the Pelicans and Lakers agreed on a deal for Anthony Davis. What are your views on the deal? Was it better than the package offered at the trade deadline back in February, or was it simply time to end the saga?

Pelicans UK: “It was a solid move from us, we took the emotion out of the trade, something I don’t think Dell Demps was able to do. Griff got the best option on the table and made it into so much more. I wouldn’t change our decision not to trade at the deadline if you gave me the option another 100 times. Actually make that 1000 times. Due to the whole saga, we ranked, ended up getting the 1st pick and a potential once in a generation talent. If the trade had gone ahead in January, there was a small chance we could have reached 8th seed, and you guys would definitely have been in the playoffs.”

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(Image/Fox Sports Asia)

Q: The Pelicans have received three brilliant young players in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. Laker fans will miss them, that’s for sure. Did you know much about the three before they were acquired? What are your expectations for them moving forward?

Pelicans UK: “The only one I wasn’t sure about was Josh Hart. Everyone knows Lonzo because of his dad, but he’s a lot more than that. He’s a proper old school point guard who, with the ball, makes things happen. Your team suffered with him sidelined and I don’t think he gets nearly enough credit. Ingram we know can easily be a leader if he stays healthy. He’s had glimpses of greatness but now he needs to prove it regularly. I think the key thing with the current roster that all Pels fans need to remember is be patient! Long term, I expect us to have THE best defensive guard partnership in the NBA and potentially with the right moves to be fighting towards the middle of the West (4th/5th place). People might call me mad but damn I’m a dreamer.”

Q: Back in January, Anthony Davis requested a trade away from New Orleans. What were your thoughts when you first saw the news, was it expected or was it assumed that Davis would commit long-term?

Pelicans UK: “There were 2 groups of people in NOLA when this broke. The “OH MY GOD HE WANTS TO LEAVE” group who were stunned by this, and the “it’s finally happened” group who realised he may leave after joining Klutch Sports. I was in the latter but for multiple reasons. After getting swept by the Warriors in the 2018 playoffs, there was a feeling that if we didn’t bring in a big superstar to pair up with AD and Jrue, AD would get distracted. Unfortunately I was right with that.”

Q: Could you provide your thoughts on the Anthony Davis era (2012-2019) in New Orleans, it wasn’t all doom and gloom was it? What was your favourite moment?

Pelicans UK: “The AD era was fun, right up until January. If he had left with some class and respect, he may have gotten the whole number retirement ceremony when he left, but “that’s all folks”. In regards to the best moment, it HAS to be the sweep of the Blazers in last years playoffs. The media were already ruling out the Pelicans, to the stage where every single ESPN pundit chose the Blazers to win, Lillard to dominate over Rondo and Jrue, were some of the headlines. AD turned up, and destroyed everything he saw going forward.”

Q: In the 2019 NBA Draft the Pelicans landed the #1 pick, selecting Zion Williamson, congratulations by the way, along with Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Marcos Louzada Silva. What are your expectations for next season with a whole host of young players? In the long run can the Pelicans develop into a serious contender?

Pelicans UK: “Absolutely I think we could become contenders. We are in a strong position. The overhaul of our front office (David Griffin, Trajan Langdon, Swin Cash, and Aaron Nelson, to name the main ones), the current young roster, cap space, and the future picks. With Griff in charge, and Langdon as GM, I think you give us a few years and everyone is going to be surprised. As for next season, my prediction is 42 to 46 wins, maybe finishing 7th or 8th. It’s a development season next year, guys like Jaxson Hayes will get used to playing the physical level of an NBA 5, hopefully with a decent vet to help him. And obviously Zion will get used to the NBA. But I think with a good off-season, I don’t see why we can’t cause 1/2 surprises. Plus, Lebron has only won 1 game at the Smoothie King since 2013, so we enjoy him coming to us.”

Q: Thank you for answering our questions. All the best for the off-season and the up-and-coming 2019/20 campaign. We’ll be keeping an eye out to see how the ex-Lakers develop!

Pelicans UK: “Good luck with AD, I hope he lives up to your high standards! I would just say he may go off once every 3 games with a small injury, he always comes back later that game!”


By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)

One Week on from the Anthony Davis Trade

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(Image/Fox News)

We are a week on from the news breaking that the Los Angeles Lakers had agreed a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans for superstar Anthony Davis. The news appeared inevitable before the 2019 NBA Draft, and it was known that the trade would come at a cost.

Was a package featuring Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three future first round picks too much give up? Does the trade leave the Lakers short-handed moving forward? Has the move sacrificed a maximum salary slot for the upcoming free-agency period? Fans and the media have been sharing their views on the move, some positive, some negative.

Putting it in short, the trade feels good, but not great. However, it was important that the deal got done sooner rather than later. It is significant to note that the trade has not even been officially announced by either team, so we are forced to rely on reporting of the trade terms. 

(Image/Bleacher Report)

As we have seen, the permutations of the deal seem to fluctuate on a daily basis, for terms as basic as just when the trade itself will be consummated.  As a result, it is hard to definitively assess the move until we know, officially, all of the information. That being said, based on what we “know”, it was a fair trade for both sides. Laker fans, of course, know the potential upside of Ingram and Ball. Hart was also a solid contributor. However, we are also very aware of their injury history. 

None of Ingram, Ball, or Hart have been able to consistently stay healthy. While Hart was able to stay on the court for the majority of last season, he was fighting through knee issues. These issues clearly effected his performances in the second half of the campaign. 

In addition, after 2020, New Orleans essentially owns the Lakers’ draft picks until potentially 2025 ,whether it be through pick swaps or outright having the Lakers’ first round draft choice. On the other hand, the Lakers have received a future Hall of Famer, in Davis, that is just entering his prime at 26 years of age. 

I’ve heard analysts compare this trade to the one that went down between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics, where similar draft considerations were dealt for an aging Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. The difference between that trade and the Davis trade should be plain. The Nets received Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnet at 35+ years of age. The Nets sold their future for a 1-2 year window. 

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The Lakers now have a cornerstone superstar in Davis who is just entering his prime at age 26, and is expected to remain in the purple and gold for the indefinite future. The Lakers were also able to keep Kyle Kuzma who is just 23 years of age and has a long way to go until he even enters his prime. Remember, if the trade proposal in February had been consummated, the Lakers would reportedly have given Kuzma up as well and taken back salary from the Pelicans, in Solomon Hill.  This deal is clearly a better deal than the one offered at the trade deadline.    

The major downside is the fact that General Manager, Rob Pelinka, failed to negotiate the time of transaction to happen on July 30, rather than July 6, as this would’ve made the job of opening up a maximum salary slot ($32.5 million) much easier.  Given how much was given up in the deal, one would’ve thought Pelinka could have negotiated a better time of transaction. 

I’ve heard people lament this deal from the Lakers’ standpoint by pointing out that it appears they were really negotiating against themselves, and that Pelinka should’ve been more insistent on not including either Ingram or Ball, or fewer draft considerations, and so on. However, while this line of thinking is not entirely off-base, it is also important to remember that there is value in making sure a deal gets done even if there is a slight overpay. 

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For instance, please raise your hand if you foresaw the Oklahoma City Thunder trading for Paul George, or the Toronto Raptors trading for Kawhi Leonard, when those sagas were ongoing. Now if you raised it, you can put your hand down because you’re lying. These were situations where the Lakers were seen as the front-runners for acquiring the star in question. Both Oklahoma City and Toronto were teams that were not mentioned as contenders. They were completely off the board. 

The lesson in those situations is that the longer one attempts to nickle and dime with the person they are dealing with, the greater the chances that an unexpected team finds a way to come in and steal the deal. Also, don’t underestimate teams’ willingness to cut off their nose to spite their faces in a deal so long as they stick it to the Lakers. Wouldn’t the haul the Lakers just gave to New Orleans have been better for the San Antonio Spurs than what they got back for Kawhi when they received DeRozan on a huge contract, and bench players? 

The Spurs also gave up Danny Green in that deal. But they did the deal anyway, to avoid dealing with the Lakers. When the Indiana Pacers traded George to Oklahoma City, they were basically taking on what many considered to be a salary dump in Victor Oladipo. Now, since the trade, Oladipo has taken a major leap and has become an All-Star, but at the time of the deal this was not the expectation. 

So there is value in getting a deal done when a team can get it done. Rob Pelinka could possibly have been a bit more stingy and reluctant in terms of negotiating assets and the timing of the trade, but the deal needed to be done and he did it. There is a lot to say for just that. 

By Frank Gaulden (@FrankGaulden)

The Lakers Agree a Deal to Acquire Anthony Davis

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(Image/USA Today Sports)

The saga is over! A short time ago, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped the news that the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed a deal to acquire superstar Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks are reportedly included in the deal. One of those future first-round picks is this year’s #4 pick.

Whilst it may make Laker fans’ eyes water, the price paid to acquire Davis does not come as a surprise. The purple and gold look to have stayed firm on not including Kuzma in the deal, but a collection of future first-round picks are now New Orleans-bound.

From a salary perspective, the deal works. Lonzo Ball ($8.7 million), Brandon Ingram ($7.2 million), Josh Hart ($1.9 million), and the 2019 #4 pick (circa $7 million) all but cover Davis’ contract ($27 million). According to our brief calculations, the Lakers will be slightly off maintaining a mid-tier maximum salary slot for the upcoming free agency period.

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(Image/USA Today Sports)

However, Moritz Wagner ($2 million) and Isaac Bonga’s ($1.4 million) contracts can be shipped out to free up salary which can open up that maximum salary slot. This looks like the most likely scenario, which will certainly make free agency an interesting one as top talent will now be looking to link up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles.

The deal does work for both parties. The Lakers have acquired arguably a top-5 player in the NBA as they look to win now, and the Pelicans have received a host of promising young players along with a wealth of draft picks, in an attempt to rebuild post-Anthony Davis.

Don’t relax just yet though, we’re just getting started. Let the free agency rumours commence!


UPDATE 16/06: Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report has provided some expert insight into the Lakers’ salary moving forward, along with an excellent podcast from Trevor Lane of Lakers Nation and Keith Smith of Yahoo! Sports. The full details of the flexibility is unknown, but it appears that the timing of the deal being officially announced has a huge role to play.

Both teams will have to wait until July 6 to announce the trade, which means that the Lakers will pick on behalf of the Pelicans at Thursday’s NBA Draft. Anthony Davis does possess a 15% trade bonus of circa $4.1 million that will come off the Lakers’ books, if exercised.

Of course, Davis can waive his bonus to allow the purple and gold to acquire more talent alongside himself and LeBron James. If so, the Lakers will have an estimated $32.5 million in cap space moving forward.

Although, the above scenario does sit slightly short of the $32.7 million maximum that players like Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and Kemba Walker, are expected to receive. As mentioned above, Wagner and Bonga can be moved to bump the salary available up, or the likes of Leonard, Irving, Butler, and Walker can accept a pay cut.

In addition, just to make things more puzzling, for the salary of this year’s #4 pick ($7.1 million) to be included in the trade, the Lakers will need to sign the player drafted, on July 1. From here, the deal would have to wait 30 days until it can be officially announced.

If the option is not taken to wait 30 days, the Lakers’ cap space drops to $27.7 million. Should Davis then choose to take his trade bonus, the space would shrink further to $23.6 million. Way off the maximum salary slot desired.

The 30 day wait would be the best situation, as it maintains available salary. Also, Davis can accept his trade bonus at that point without impacting the spending power of the Lakers. Leaving $32.5 million in available cap space, which opens up a path to sign a third star to the roster.

The question is now, do the Lakers star chase or do they use the salary to build a deep roster?


By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)