Looking for rookies who can potentially help them move up the slope, the Lakers are also looking to part ways with deadweight in their squad. Two Angelinos fall into the latter category, but will not be able to leave the franchise under any conditions!
Long awaited as the trade deadline approached last year, they had finally remained very discreet, preferring to focus on the buyout market. This time, they have already started the transfer machine more than a month before the deadline. Far from being satisfied with the results of the team in the first part of the season (21-21), the leaders of the Lakers have planned to significantly reshape the workforce.
The first Angelino to bear the brunt of this policy, Rajon Rondo was sent a few days ago to Cleveland, leaving behind an empty spot in the LA roster. Unsurprisingly, several other players with disappointing performances so far could suffer the same fate. Russell Westbrook is one of them, even if a franchise has already snubbed its profile, just like two other elements completely excluded from the rotation!
The Lakers not desperate to clean up
Holders at the start of the season, DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore have gradually lost credit in the eyes of Frank Vogel, until they have no longer entered his plans at all in recent weeks. The Purple & Gold front office therefore hopes to free them from this situation by February 10. In the last episode of HoopsHype Podcast, Michael Scotto says however that they will not do it at all costs!
If the Lakers were to do anything in the days to come, I think they will be looking to free up spots in their roster. Kent Bazemore and DeAndre Jordan are available, as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst mentioned, but from what I’ve heard the Lakers don’t want to attach a pick to get rid of either of those two players. It should be a trade similar to Rajon Rondo’s.
For those who would not have followed the wise Rondo and the 3-team deal concluded with the Cavaliers and the Knicks, Yossi Gozlan is responsible for explaining the structure that a possible transfer of DAJ and Bazemore could take.
I have a feeling the Lakers aren’t going to have to use a pick to part with one of these two players. They paid the Knicks $ 1.1 million to collect Denzel Valentine’s partially guaranteed contract. They still have $ 4.4M in cash to use, which should be enough to get rid of Jordan and Bazemore.
In other words, the Lakers will be able to send the contracts of their two undesirables to teams that can cash them, by sending them a check without receiving any significant consideration. A way to leave the field open to future signatures, in particular via the buyout market. For Gozlan, they might not even have to put their hands in their pockets in one of the two cases!
Maybe they won’t even need to spend the money to transfer Bazemore. He was pretty good last year. Maybe a team will feel he can offer her something.
Destocking has started at the Lakers, but is not yet complete. Attached to their draft choices, they hope to be able to trade DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore without having to draw from their picks!