The NBA trade deadline is on March 25 this year. Until it passes, we’ll be tracking the most reputable Lakers trade rumors below. If you want to avoid getting fooled by fake accounts on Twitter or dealing with wannabe insiders who have more sauces than sources, bookmark this page, because we’ll be updating this and cutting through the noise as the latest reliable intel and reporting surfaces, with a note on when the most recent update was made to the section prior to each bullet point.
Now, on to the rumors...
- (March 25) Drummond is officially being bought out.
- (March 24) The Knicks have emerged as a last-minute suitor for an Andre Drummond trade, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
- (March 23) Teams around the league apparently think Drummond to L.A. is a done deal if he gets bought out, according to multiple reports that Drummond himself even tweeted about. And not long after those reports, Marc Stein of the New York Times confirmed them. There is a lot of smoke with this one.
- (March 16) Drummond has definitely been the name most frequently connected to the Lakers. Rival executives think the Lakers will try to get him in a buyout, and Marc Stein of The New York Times reports that the Lakers feel “optimism” he’ll consider them if he’s let go by the Cavaliers (who he is not with as they seek a trade). Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported that the Lakers prefer Drummond to DeMarcus Cousins in the buyout market, while Shams Charania of The Athletic adds that the Nets and Lakers are expected to be Drummond’s top suitors if he’s bought out, but that the Cavaliers would prefer to trade him (duh).
- (March 25) The Spurs are buying out Aldridge, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Most view him as likely to head to the Heat, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.
- (March 23) Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported that the Lakers have interest in Aldridge, but that the Miami Heat are believed to be the frontrunners for him.
- (March 16) Sam Amick of The Athletic speculated that the Lakers may pursue the Spurs big man — who has left the team as they try to trade him — because they’re disappointed with the play of Marc Gasol. However, his colleague Shams Charania reported more recently that if Aldridge gets bought out, “Miami, Portland and Boston are expected to be leading suitors.”
- (March 25) Whiteside did not get traded at the deadline. Now we wait and see if he gets bought out.
- (March 16) Dan Woike of the L.A. Times reported that rival executives around the NBA expect the Lakers to pursue Hassan Whiteside if he’s bought out, and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that L.A. is “monitoring” him. Whiteside is only making around $2.3 million, so it would be relatively easy for the Lakers to make a trade work for him, unlike many other candidates they’ve been linked to.
Off the table
The deadline passed without a trade for the Lakers:
The Lakers have no moves pending, sources tell ESPN. The trade deadline came and went with the roster unchanged. LAL will now turn its focus to the buyout market and has two open roster spots to fill. Team recognizes health will be ultimate factor in potential success this year— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 25, 2021
Here is everyone they were linked to.
- (March 25) Lowry is staying put with the Raptors, according to ESPN.
- (March 25) With just under 24 hours to go until the trade deadline, the Lakers are getting in on the Lowry sweepstakes, and are reportedly in “serious talks” to acquire him. They are reportedly making quite a few guys available in trades, too.
- (March 25) McGee was traded to the Denver Nuggets.
- (March 22) Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports originally reported that McGee was “not entertaining” buyout discussions, but just a week later, that appears to have changed, as Haynes now reports that “it is becoming more likely that a new destination for the Cleveland Cavaliers backup center would occur not by trade, but rather a buyout.”
- (March 16) The Lakers cannot legally trade for JaVale McGee or sign him if the Cavaliers buy him out, contrary to what some anonymous executives believe. The only way they can reacquire him after trading him less than a year ago is if he’s traded and bought out, and Dan Woike of the L.A. Times reports that there is “interest” in such a reunion if that happens.
- (March 22) We don’t know who, but Brian Windhorst of ESPN is reporting that the Lakers have had talks about acquiring a guard prior to the deadline.
- (Marc 25) Turner was not traded.
- (March 16) The Indianapolis Star reports that the Lakers are one of several teams to call the Pacers about a deal for Turner, but it doesn’t sound like anything is imminent just yet.
- (March 25) Hill is headed to the Sixers.
- (March 23) The Lakers have reportedly talked to the Thunder about a trade for George Hill, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
- (March 17) Tucker was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks.
- (March 16) Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN wrote that the Lakers were among the teams to call the Rockets about Tucker, and Shams Charania of The Athletic followed up with a report that the Lakers, Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks are all still talking to the Rockets about a deal, while the Brooklyn Nets have dropped out of the chase. Wojnarowski first linked the Lakers to Tucker in February, so this has been an ongoing pursuit that predates Tucker leaving the team as they look for a trade or wait to buy him out. And while this is not a rumor, Tucker did just start following LeBron James on Instagram.
- (March 17) Ariza was traded to the Miami Heat.
- (March 16) There hasn’t been any reporting about the Lakers trading for the small forward who helped them win a title in 2009, but Shams Charania of The Athletic wrote that Rob Pelinka was “monitoring” to see if his former client got bought out right after Ariza ended up with the Thunder, with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN speculating more recently that Ariza could be a target for the Lakers.
Stay tuned for more as the trade deadline gets closer. We will update these names and add new ones as they come out.