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Lakers have explored trading JaVale McGee to Knicks so they can increase their offer to Marc Gasol

If the Lakers can find a team to take JaVale McGee in a trade, they might be able to offer more money to Marc Gasol in free agency.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Toronto Raptors Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images

On Sunday morning, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Los Angeles Lakers had become a “serious suitor” for Marc Gasol as they search for another free agent center as part of their offseason overhaul, and now he writes that Gasol has narrowed his free agency choices down to the Lakers and incumbent Toronto Raptors:

If the Raptors lose Gasol, they reportedly may go after another Lakers target: Markieff Morris. Morris reportedly wants to stay with the Lakers (who also want to keep him) but some money from Toronto might sway things. However, Marc Stein of the New York Times also reports that the Lakers are looking to move JaVale McGee so they can increase their offer to Gasol.

Speaking of assets, it is perhaps worth noting here that the Knicks badly wanted Kyle Kuzma back at the trade deadline.

As things stand, the Lakers are currently hard capped after officially signing Wesley Matthews on Sunday, and can only offer veteran’s minimum deals. That would change, however, if they’re able to get off of the $4 million they currently owe McGee by salary dumping him to a team that needs a center. Or, theoretically by giving McGee to the Raptors in a sign-and-trade for Gasol in a deal that would at least allow the Raptors to get back some of the center depth they were losing:

There are obviously a lot of moving parts here, but this is a promising development for the Lakers on multiple fronts. They obviously would want to keep Morris too, but getting Gasol would give them the kind of bulkier, physical and tough defender they’re missing after the departure of Dwight Howard. He is the best name on the market left to fill that role, so managing to get him would be a coup for Rob Pelinka and the front office.

This developing story will update with more information as it continues to trickle out.

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