After opening up a roster spot in the Rajon Rondo trade, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly determined to maximize their roster flexibility by unloading Kent Bazemore and/or DeAndre Jordan.
However, according to Michael Scott’s of HoopsHype, the Lakers would prefer not to include draft compensation in any trade involving Bazemore or Jordan:
Scotto: If anything, I think they’re going to look to make some roster spots on the back end. Kent Bazemore and DeAndre Jordan are available as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst mentioned, but the Lakers aren’t trying to attach a pick to get off either guy from what I’ve heard. It would have to be similar to the Rajon Rondo (trade) situation.
Given the success the Lakers have had with their second-round picks in recent years, and their lack of tradable draft picks in the coming years, it make sense that they’re reluctant to give up their second-round pick in what would essentially be a salary dump. Instead, it sounds like they’re going to try to convince and a team to take on Bazemore and/or Jordan using the $4.4 million they have at their disposal for trades.
In theory, the Lakers could just waive Bazemore and Jordan, but sending them out with cash and then signing new players to prorated veteran’s minimum contracts would actually save them luxury tax dollars, which, from what we can tell, is a priority for this regime. In other words, waiving Bazemore and/or Jordan will likely be a last resort for Pelinka and Co.
Fortunately, there are reasons to believe that it won’t come that. As bad as Bazemore’s been for the Lakers, he stills technically fits the mold of a 3-and-D player, and a team looking to fill that need on a budget might be willing to take him and Jordan on for some cash. For teams not looking to compete this season, the cash should be enough — $4.4 million is a good chunk of change.
Nothing is for certain until both teams agree to it, though, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on the Lakers through the trade deadline on Feb. 10.