Julius Randle’s role in the Los Angeles Lakers’ rotation has been greatly diminished — especially over the last couple weeks despite Brook Lopez’s injury. The Lakers would reportedly “love” to trade Randle and Jordan Clarkson, but what would such a deal look like?
Lakers Outsiders has learned that the during this past summer, the Lakers were very much in on attempting to land Avery Bradley of the Boston Celtics, who had to move him in order to free up enough cap space to sign Gordon Hayward.
The Lakers were willing to offer a package centered on Randle and a second rounder, but the Danny Ainge apparently preferred Larry Nance Jr., considering he isn’t a free agent until two summers from now, whereas Randle would have to get paid in only a few months.
Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka stood firm on offering Randle and still felt confident their offer would get it done.
Ainge instead chose to send Bradley and a second-rounder to the Detroit Pistons for Marcus Morris.
Once Detroit had Bradley in the fold, it was crystal clear that they had no room for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope either in their rotation or under the cap. He hit the open market, where the Lakers pounced and signed him to his current contract lasting one year for $18 million.
It’s also been reported that the Lakers have discussed sending Randle to Dallas for Nerlens Noel, who finds himself in a somewhat similar predicament regarding role and future with the organization.
Combining the context of both the Bradley and Noel trade rumors, it’s becoming pretty clear what the Lakers are looking for in any trade featuring Randle: a starting-caliber player on an expiring deal. This narrows down their options and, seeing as the rest of the NBA is aware of their intentions with Randle at this point, Johnson and Pelinka have their work cut out for them.
There haven’t been any specifics to this point regarding what a Jordan Clarkson deal would look like, though per one report, the Lakers would prefer to trade him after the season, given how he’s helped them win games.
(Randle also helps win games but apparently, that doesn’t matter.)
Side note: Avery Bradley has recently been accused of sexual harassment, per TMZ. He denies the allegation but did pay to silence the victim. As Bradley is not a Laker, this is not necessarily relevant to the above information, but not mentioning it in this climate would be a disservice.