The Los Angeles Lakers, through multiple front office regimes and roster changes, have long been interested in the services of veteran shooting guard Terrence Ross.
Back in 2015, the Lakers showed interest in trading for Ross, something they did again (multiple times) during the 2018-19 season. The team then considered signing Ross during free agency in 2019 before ultimately adding Danny Green instead.
So this is a tale as old as time, as far as trade rumors go. And according to veteran NBA insider Marc Stein’s latest Substack report, the rest of the league expects the Lakers to go after Ross again (emphasis mine):
I passed along this update via Twitter on Sunday night purely because Orlando’s Terrence Ross and Gary Harris are names to monitor whenever they pop up these days. The Magic are widely expected to trade one or both before the Feb. 10 trade deadline depending on the level of draft capital they can get in return.
Some teams regard Ross as a natural target for the Lakers or the Jazz — both known to be seeking a defensive-minded wing player but possessing limited trade assets to make an impact trade in the next 17 days.
Now, the phrasing here makes it clear that this is not coming directly from the Lakers. Still, this is notable because other teams are often privy to intel and scuttlebutt about what their competitors are looking for. This report doesn’t mean it’s a certainty that the Lakers will pursue Ross, but we shouldn’t be surprised if they at least consider it.
The only problem is that the Lakers may not be offering the types of assets the Magic are looking for in a Ross trade. The team currently has their 2027 first-rounder (which they have offered around, but obviously are unlikely to put on the table for Ross). They also have 2023, 2024 and 2028 second-round picks from a few other teams to throw around, via RealGM, as well as a couple of their own.
Would that be enough to get the Magic to part with Ross? Probably(?). But I can’t claim to know for certain.
Still, the other problem here is that the only player on the Lakers that really fits with Ross’ $12.5 million salary trade-wise is Talen Horton-Tucker. Would the Lakers really trade him — and a veteran’s minimum player, for the purposes of this exercise I used DeAndre Jordan — for such a fairly negligible upgrade after previously valuing THT so highly? I would personally guess probably not.
Ross — a score-first guard who doesn’t do much else (sound familiar?) — also probably wouldn’t solve enough of the Lakers’ current issues for the team to invest Horton-Tucker and draft capital in acquiring him. Especially considering he’s shooting just barely over 30% from three this season.
So while history tells us we should probably expect to hear more about Ross before the trade deadline, especially considering this team’s apparent main goal of putting together an entire roster of “guys people forgot were a BUCKET,” we also probably shouldn’t expect to see him in purple and gold, despite the seemingly inevitable noise. Salary or basketball wise, it’s just not a trade that would appear to move the needle for L.A. very much. But as they canvas all their options, they might at least consider it.