The NBA trade deadline is less than two weeks away. The Lakers have mostly been quiet in the days leading up to it, but that doesn’t mean that they will sit this deadline out.
Following a report that the Lakers could look to trade away their veteran players in part for a chance to tank and keep their top-three protected pick, a prominent member of the Lakers’ media following says the team will “probably” make a move at the deadline:
Probably. I know they're talking to a lot of teams. But I've guessed wrong about this before. https://t.co/fHT1ROw5xl
— John Ireland (@LAIreland) February 11, 2017
Before we carry on with what trades could be possible here, it’s important to note the nature of the report. John Ireland is well connected within the Lakers’ organization and when he says that the team is speaking to “a lot of teams,” it’s fair to assume that he’s correct.
That said, Ireland also seems to be hedging his bets and the use of the term “probably” may just be a hunch on his part. It’s still significant that he believes the team will make a move considering they haven’t had an in-season trade since 2014.
As for what the trade would include, there are a few options. The most likely scenario is that guys like Nick Young, Lou Williams, and Tarik Black could be moved. All three have had great seasons and could help a contending team but would not require that the Lakers move their high-potential young players in order to accelerate their rebuild.
A blockbuster trade seems unlikely given the direction of the team. The Lakers will almost certainly look at getting assets for their veterans but it’s not clear how much they can get back. Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov are probably untradeable, which stings doubly so as the latter has strung together three straight DNP-CD’s and the former has been benched.
The trade deadline is on February 23rd. There could be several directions that the Lakers take this season but it appears that they are definitely willing to make some sort of move.