The Los Angeles Lakers have finally made it to the All-Star break and won’t play a game until next Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Before they take the court, however, the NBA trade deadline takes place, and general manager Mitch Kupchak will be busy on the phones considering making deals to help the franchise.
There have been plenty of rumors surrounding the team heading toward the deadline, and Kupchak admitted that the Lakers have been more active than usual, via Tania Ganguli and Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times:
“We are active, yes,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak said. “We’re active every year. … Quite frankly compared to the last three or four years, we have a lot of talent on this roster that I think a lot of people have interest in — varying levels of interest. I would think there’s more meaningful discussions this year than there have been the last two or three years.”
The majority of trade rumors surrounding the team has been focused on the veterans, namely Lou Williams. The Lakers leading scorer has only one more year on his deal at a very manageable $7 million and provides instant scoring off the bench. Teams like the Washington Wizards, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Houston Rockets have been mentioned as possibilities as all three playoff teams could use some bench scoring.
Nick Young has also been mentioned as he is enjoying a career year and will be participating in the JBL Three-Point Contest this weekend. Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov may also be discussed, but they would be much more difficult to move due to their long-term deals.
Many are expecting the Lakers to make a move before the deadline, but nothing is set in stone as Kupchak won’t just move players without getting proper value in return. The Lakers will definitely be closely watched until the deadline passes.