In exactly a month, the Los Angeles Lakers will be able to make trades involving their summer free agent signings and they reportedly already have a player they’re targeting — Cleveland Cavaliers sharpshooter Kyle Korver.
The 37-year-old is averaging the fewest minutes per game he’s seen since his rookie season with the Philadelphia 76ers. Ironically, the Sixers are among the teams interested in Korver, along with the Lakers and Thunder, according to Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box.
The Bucks aren’t the only team interested in Korver’s services. Sources said Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and Los Angeles Lakers are also among the Korver suitors.
Korver, a career 43.1 percent 3-point shooter, would be a welcome addition to a Lakers team that has struggled to drain the 3-ball with any consistency this season. However, the asking price from the Cavaliers might be too steep for team president Magic Johnson and general Rob Pelinka.
According to sources, the Cavs are seeking a first-round pick for Korver, although the prevailing feeling among several NBA officials is that no team will likely agree to the Cavs’ asking price.
If the Cavs lower their asking price between now and the trade deadline, the Lakers could see if the expiring contracts of Michael Beasley and Lance Stephenson would be enough to get Korver.
Korver is due $7.56 million this season and $7.5 million next season if he’s not waived by July 7. If he is waived, he will have a salary cap hit worth $3.44 million on whatever team waives him.
While the Lakers would almost surely prefer a player on an expiring contract, a shooter of Korver’s caliber isn’t available every day and if they are, they usually don’t come cheap.
A package built around Stephenson, Beasley and a future second-round pick should be enough, but the Cavaliers might be hesitant to accept a deal from the Lakers after last year’s trade deadline.
Regardless of whether or not they're aggressive in their pursuit of Korver, this report suggests the Lakers recognize their problems with shooting and are hoping to address it at the trade deadline. It’s going to be interesting to see what other names the Lakers are linked to within the coming months.
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