The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t expected to make a big splash at the trade deadline, if we are to believe reports coming out of ESPN that the front office isn’t rushing to make a deal, but that could change in the last remaining hours until general managers around the league put their pencils down.
The Lakers are reportedly still discussing Jordan Clarkson trade scenarios, using Larry Nance Jr. as “sweetener” for teams interested, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Clarkson has been one of the Lakers’ two most-oft mentioned players in trade rumors, neck-and-neck with Julius Randle.
A package of Clarkson and Nance Jr. would be a big chunk of the Lakers’ bench rotation, which would hopefully mean a solid return. The catch, of course, is the Lakers are reluctant to take on salary to retain space for the summer of 2018. If they are actually beginning to shift their attention to the summer of 2019, though, perhaps they’ll take on a contract that runs through next season.
Clarkson is set to earn $25.9 million over the next two seasons once the 2017-18 season concludes. That value is about right for a legitimate backcourt scoring punch off the bench, but protecting precious salary space has become the modus operandi for front offices across the league. Nance Jr. is a pretty sweet sweetener, but finding both the right interested partner, with the right interesting pieces, is always a challenge.
Rumors are rumors, of course, so take it for whatever you feel it’s worth. We’ll have a final answer on what the Lakers do — or don’t do — in just a few short hours.