The NBA trade deadline is just over three weeks away, which means the rumor mill is about to start generating a massive increase in activity.
Rumors are always circulating in regards to the Los Angeles Lakers, because they will always draw a large crowd. Yesterday, there was supposedly a “mega-story” about Kobe Bryant on the verge of breaking, but so far things have been silent on that front.
Today’s rumblings, however, involve a player that many fans want to be a part of the Lakers’ future: Hassan Whiteside. According to Steve Kyler from Basketball Insiders, the Miami Heat big man could end up in Los Angeles this summer if his current team balks at paying him a lucrative offer.
A little while back, Whiteside actually had a workout with the Lakers, but the team declined to offer him a contract. It would be strange to see him come back to a team that initially did not want him, but crazier things have happened.
Whiteside will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and the Lakers will have more than enough cap space to offer probably two max contracts. They also clearly need an upgrade at the center position, so it would make sense if Los Angeles would want a second chance, though the 27-year-old’s emotional instability is concerning. Does his defensive prowess outweigh that? To a lot of people, it does.
I’ve seen chatter on Twitter today about the Lakers trading for Whiteside before the deadline, and I just can’t see that happening. The Heat would probably want one of the Lakers’ young players, and the latter shouldn’t give anything up for someone that will be available this summer — perhaps a lesson they learned with Dwight Howard.
Trade rumors will really start to swirl around the team in the next three weeks, and most will have no validity. The same can likely be said about free agency rumors as well. Only time will tell where soon-to-be free agents like Whiteside will end up, but a mutual interest between him and the Lakers certainly makes some sense.