With the NBA Trade Deadline fast approaching, the Los Angeles Lakers have been popping up all over the rumor mill. The front office has reportedly made it known that young players Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr. are available for the right deal.
As the trade deadline draws near, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka figure to be hard at work considering any trades that will improve the team in the short and long-term.
Clarkson and Randle were known to be trade possibilities, as the Lakers look to clear up enough salary cap room to sign two max-free agents this summer. The inclusion of Nance is something of a surprise, especially considering Magic’s words about him before the season started.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski made an appearance on ESPN’s Outside The Lines and reaffirmed that all three are available, plus provided context on what the Lakers are looking for in return:
“Players like Larry Nance, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, are all available. And those are players they would like to get back either, draft picks or expiring contracts. Contracts that don’t go out financially past this year.”
This makes complete sense for the Lakers. They want to create cap room so any long-term salary is off the table unless it came in the form of a superstar. The team also doesn’t have a first-round pick in this year’s draft so if they could acquire one, they will.
At this point it is simply a matter of what they could get in return for any of Clarkson, Nance or Randle, and perhaps others as well. The aforementioned three players bring something completely different to a team and are also in different contract situations.
Clarkson, reportedly considered the most attractive trade chip of the three, has two more fully guaranteed seasons on his deal after this year at around $26 million.
Randle is in the final year of his rookie deal and will be a restricted free agent this summer, while Nance has one more year on his rookie contract and will be eligible for an extension.
One thing that is clear is that the Lakers will be one of the biggest teams to watch during this time.
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