With the Los Angeles Lakers struggles making it all the more paramount for team to find minutes for it's young players, many have expected the team to look to be sellers at the NBA trade deadline, and that appears to be the case. After reporting earlier this week that the front office was looking to find a playoff team to take on Roy Hibbert, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported the names of two other Lakers veterans who could find themselves on new teams: Nick Young and Brandon Bass.
Kyler reports that Bass is the most likely to be moved of that trio, writing that the front office is "expected" to move the 10-year veteran before the deadline. After a slow start, Bass (57%) is now shooting the highest field-goal percentage of his career, but would still likely not fetch very much in a trade, with the primary benefit of the move being more minutes for the Lakers' younger front-court pieces like Julius Randle, Larry Nance, Jr., and Tarik Black.
Additionally, Kyler reported that while the Lakers were making Young and Hibbert available, teams were not exactly jumping all over themselves to acquire them, and the Lakers don't want to sacrifice cap flexibility:
The Lakers are said to be open to trading guard Nick Young and center Roy Hibbert, but neither seem overly attractive on the trade front, especially if the Lakers have to take on salary that runs into the 2016 salary cap year.
Hibbert is in the last year of a contract paying him more than $15 million while shooting the lowest field goal percentage (42.4%) of his career, making it hard to find teams that would theoretically be interested in acquiring him while also being able to match salaries.
Young, meanwhile, still has two more years left on his contract worth $11.1 million in total (the second year is a player option), and has cooled off after a hot start to the season, now shooting just 36.7% from the field. Not helping what little value Young has is his being benched for four of the Lakers' last ten games.
Lakers management is smart to kick the tires on potential deals involving these three players, but due to poor play (Young and Hibbert) or the ability to leave at the end of the season (Hibbert and Bass), it is still more likely than not that most of these names will still be on the team following the February 18th trade deadline.
All stats per NBA.com. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen