With Dec. 15 approaching, the Los Angeles Lakers and all 30 teams will be able to trade players they signed in free agency this past summer.
Since the Lakers are looking to win now, they have reportedly been exploring the possibility to trade for Trevor Ariza, who signed a one-year, $15 million deal with the Phoenix Suns.
As a result, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a likely candidate to be traded as he re-signed on a one-year, $12 million deal.
With the Lakers initially trying to find a third team for Caldwell-Pope, the Houston Rockets are reportedly interested in him, according to Shams Charnia of The Athletic:
The Houston Rockets are emerging as a potential suitor for Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in multi-team trade scenarios, such as with the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns, league sources told The Athletic.
While Caldwell-Pope can veto any trade, the potential for a bigger role and more minutes elsewhere may entice him. After starting all 74 games for the Lakers during the 2017-18 NBA season, Caldwell-Pope started the first three games before being moved to the bench.
If the Lakers are able to complete this potential four-team trade, Ariza would be a nice fit as head coach Luke Walton has been searching for a reliable backup power forward. Most importantly, this move would not hurt the team’s salary cap come 2019 free agency, when they are expected to pursue another star.