The Lakers weren’t joking when reports came out indicating it wouldn’t be until January that the team would start really looking into the trade market. Aside from some odd links of players the franchise is targeting, there haven’t been any substantial reports of an impending trade throughout the season.
But January is here, the time is ticking down to the deadline and we don’t have any indication this time around that the Lakers are kicking the can down the road. So let’s take a look at the latest reports and rumors about the trade market.
Lakers still among teams pursuing Bojan Bogdanovic
One of the names that has persisted through multiple teams has been Bojan Bogdanovic. Dating back to his time in Utah through a trade to the Pistons, Bogdanovic has been a name routinely linked to the Lakers.
That hasn’t changed, despite a steep asking price from the Pistons. According to Jake Fischer in his latest story for Yahoo Sports, the Lakers are joined by Cleveland, Dallas and Phoenix as teams pursuing Bogdanovic.
The Cavaliers are indeed a Bogdanovic suitor, sources said, but it will be rather difficult, and perhaps impossible, for Cleveland to reach Detroit’s lofty asking price for the veteran sharpshooter.
At this juncture, the Pistons are seeking at least one first-rounder and either a young player with upside or additional draft capital, sources said, plus Cleveland has company in Dallas, Phoenix and the Lakers, among other teams in pursuit of Bogdanovic.
There’s a reason he’s been routinely mentioned to the Lakers, and it’s because he’s a perfect fit for what the team needs. He’s a wing that commands the attention of defenses as a shooter. He would provide the Lakers a sorely needed weapon offensively, though it seems unlikely a deal is done until the price comes way down.
Myles Turner might finally get traded, for realsies this time
Speaking of players linked for a long time to the Lakers, Myles Turner has continued his strong season in a contract year with the Pacers and has made his thoughts on potentially being a Laker clear. Those possibilities seemed destined to end when reports came out that the Pacers were looking to extend him, but that may have been a bluff on their part.
According to Matt Moore of The Action Network, the Pacers could eventually still be open for business when it comes to a Turner trade.
The Athletic reported last month that the Indiana Pacers and Myles Turner were in extension talks. An agreement would end a four-year prolonged trade saga around the versatile big man.
However, multiple sources indicated this week that if a deal isn’t reached, it would finally prompt the Pacers to move on and deal Turner. At this point, I’ll believe it when I see it, given how many times Turner’s name has appeared in trade rumors.
Turner has been mentioned in so many rumors that it’s hard to get a sense on what the outcome would be. On one hand, he’s been mentioned in trade rumors for years and years and has never been dealt.
On the other hand, he’s been mentioned in trade rumors for years and years, and is he ready to sign up for that some more of that? Money talks and the way the modern NBA works, you sign the deal now and figure out your future later.
In that sense, it may mean he signs a deal now and then finds a long-term home this summer.
The trade season has officially, officially begun
In defense of the Lakers, it does take two to tango when it comes to a trade and the league was pretty much in a holding pattern when it came to making deals.
The dam may have finally burst on Thursday, though, as we finally had a deal that could lead to more around the league. It wasn’t a particularly big trade and it was entirely a money-driven deal as the Celtics traded Noah Vonleh and cash to the Spurs to save $7 million.
To make room for the trade, the Spurs waived Gorgui Dieng and will subsequently waive Vonleh (and before you ask, no, the Lakers shouldn’t sign either). What it does do is free up roster spots for both teams with San Antonio being a team that has been linked to Westbrook before.
On the note of open roster spots, the Lakers have had one since they cut Matt Ryan and Thursday marked the first day 10-day contracts can be signed. So long as they have an open roster spot, they can sign players to 10-day deals.
In short, it feels like trade and transaction season is officially underway and more movement could finally be happening.