Recently, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak spoke about the possibility of the team making a deal, believing that it was unlikely that they would do so. This was coming at a time when rumors around the league are really picking up as Atlanta Hawks All-Star Paul Millsap was reportedly on the trading block.
Things have changed now as the Hawks have taken Millsap off the block and are committed to competing in the Eastern Conference. But there was surely a lot of interest in him, including some from the Lakers.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Lakers were one of a number of teams with interest in Millsap:
Atlanta general manager Wes Wilcox started informing teams Monday afternoon that the Hawks were no longer working to unload Millsap, sources said. Millsap can be a free agent this summer, and multiple teams – including Denver, Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers – had an interest in making a deal for him, sources said.
This is a bit of an interesting development as the Lakers have an extremely promising player at the power forward position in Julius Randle. The question now becomes what would the Lakers have been willing to give up in a deal for Millsap.
The problem with any deal for Millsap is that he is a free agent after this season and will likely command a maximum contract from whoever signs him. The Lakers have already dealt with a player leaving after only one season in Dwight Howard, and giving up valuable assets such as Randle, or any other young player, for someone who might be gone after half a season is dangerous.
It is good to see that the Lakers are at least exploring the trade market just in case the right deal comes around. For Millsap that wasn’t the case, but who knows what the future might hold.