It is now known that in the potential trade with the Phoenix Suns for Trevor Ariza, the Los Angeles Lakers were willing to give up Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a second-round pick.
Amid reports of the Suns not wanting to truly do business with the Lakers, it’s since been reported they asked for Josh Hart to be included in the trade.
And although the Lakers’ willingness to trade Caldwell-Pope for Ariza makes it seem as if the they will be buyers on the trade market, there is one caveat that looms large over any deal that they make. And that is that they have no intention of taking on any salary beyond this season.
It’s no secret that the Lakers want max slots this summer, due to earlier rumors of a potential Caldwell-Pope to the Philadelphia 76ers, it was reiterated that the Lakers will not take on any multi-year contracts in a trade, via Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer:
I reported in November that the Sixers had interest in Lakers wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but the Lakers are unwilling to take on any future salary, which makes Philly a tough match.
It seems as though Caldwell-Pope is the only player the Lakers would be willing to part ways with in a trade, which should be no problem. Caldwell-Pope is a talented shooter and defender and, even though he can be inconsistent, he’s only on a one-year deal.
But since he is an expiring contract, that makes swapping him for a better expiring contract rather difficult. It appeared as though the Lakers had struck gold with the Ariza deal, but since that fell through due to the Suns’ owner refusing to make a deal with L.A., there seems to be a lack of options.
It will now be a waiting game for this summer, when the team project to have around $41 million in cap space. It is also very possible that they simply hold out on making any deals and just wait for the buyout market to heat up.