Since Magic Johnson exited his role, the Los Angeles Lakers had not made a midseason trade under the sole managing of Rob Pelinka. That changed just this past week when the team made a minor trade, sending Rajon Rondo to the Cleveland Cavaliers to open up a roster spot on the team (that will most likely go to Stanley Johnson). However, it sounds like they’re not done making moves to improve their roster as much as they can, as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that the team is looking to move DeAndre Jordan while also saying they’re “willing to talk” with other teams about trades involving Kent Bazemore (h/t Pickuphoop on Twitter).
Windhorst says the Lakers are looking to trade DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore pic.twitter.com/K37ktOtGeJ
— pickuphoop (@pickuphoop) January 5, 2022
As Windhorst notes, there’s not much of a role left on this team for DeAndre Jordan now that they’ve aggressively transitioned to a small-ball style of play that heavily features LeBron James at the center position. Once Anthony Davis returns in a month or less time, the minutes at the five will feature LeBron, Davis, and possibly Dwight Howard when their opponent has some extra length and mass in their frontcourt. If the Lakers don’t find a trade to get off of Jordan, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s just waived so that they can have that open spot for the buyout market as Windhorst notes.
Prior to the season, it seemed Kent Bazemore could be a significant contributor to the team as a 3-point shooting wing defender, a role that was scarcely seen in the roster. However, he severely underperformed to start the season and quickly found his way out of rotation, even before Jordan found himself out of it. He may be more tradeable than Jordan due to his role being far more desired than a center with severely declining athleticism and poor defense.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers have troubles trading either of these two. Either way, the Lakers are definitely not expecting any assets in return as this is simply a strategy of creating open roster spots for the Stanley Johnsons of the world that the Lakers can find in the buyout market, the same market that brought Markieff Morris and Andre Drummond to their team in the past.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated as more news comes out.