To this point, the Los Angeles Lakers’ attempts to clear salary by way of trading Jordan Clarkson have been rebuffed. It has already been reported that teams are wary of offering up first round picks for Julius Randle due to his impending free agency, restricted though it may be, and apparently they aren’t having much luck on this front either.
In cases like these, the Lakers have two choices: Stand pat and wait for another team to blink, or try to improve the offer with pieces that might not hurt as much to lose as it would hurt to not open up the two max slots Magic Johnson speaks of as if they already exist.
According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Johnson and Rob Pelinka are going with the second option.
Lakers are using Larry Nance as a sweetener in deals involving Jordan Clarkson, league sources say. It’s unclear which teams have interest, if any. Clarkson is signed through 2019-20 and teams are reluctant to take on pricey long-term contracts.
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) February 8, 2018
One thing to keep in mind as today unfolds: This is the new front office’s first true trade deadline. They were brought on right before last year’s, and while they’ve made plenty of deals elsewhere either in the sport or across their various businesses, the NBA trade deadline is something is uncharted territory for both Magic and Pelinka.
It would also appear earlier reports of the Lakers recalibrating to 2019 are, yeah. Haha.
Mitch Kupchak was a notoriously tough negotiator in trades, and if this is the precedent the new regime is setting, times are a’changin’ for the Lakers.
It’s also fair to wonder where O’Connor is getting this. To this point, he hasn’t shown much sourcing with the Lakers, but he has broken a few NBA stories, so I do think this is worth keeping an eye on.