The number one trade target for the Los Angeles Lakers over the summer will most likely be elite point guard Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets. Even though the Lakers can’t sign Williams to a free agent contract, if he opts out of the final year of his deal with the Nets, with only the mini-midlevel of $3 million at their disposal, Los Angeles can acquire him via sign-and-trade.
Another big-name player that has been rumored to be signing with Los Angeles before next season is former Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom. With mutual interest from the team and the veteran forward, a reunion might be on the horizon.
Unfortunately, the Lakers acquiring Williams via sign-and-trade and Odom might be highly unlikely according to Mike Bresnahan and Mark Medina of the L.A. Times:
Williams, a likely free agent this summer and one of the NBA’s top point guards, was cognizant of the Lakers’ limited purchasing power.
“I know they don’t have any money to just go out and sign me. It’ll have to be some kind of [trade],” Williams said Wednesday at the E3 Expo, where he promoted the video game “NBA Baller Beats.”
As for Odom, the NBA is standing firm on the relatively new rule that players cannot return to their old teams for a full year after being traded, a change made in the new collective-bargaining agreement last December.
In the past, the Lakers organization has always had the ability to acquire any player they had their eyes on. After the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was signed before the 2011-12 NBA season, the Lakers ability to sign and trade for desired players will no longer be as easy as it once was.
It remains to be seen what the future holds for the Lakers moving forward with GM Mitch Kupchak saying changes will be made. Even if the Lakers can’t acquire Williams or sign Odom, this team will still make moves in an attempt to improve this team before next season.