It’s the most wonderful time of the year for NBA fans with trade deadline week fully upon us. The rumors will be aplenty and the names will be plentiful with lots of new and old targets likely to be linked to the Lakers.
There’s a whole lot to dive into with the latest reports, so let’s see the latest rumors and headlines.
Tyus Jones interest remains
While there have been plenty of names bandied about throughout recent weeks, Tyus Jones has remained one that’s a bit in the background. He’s not the team’s top point guard on their wishlist — more on Dejounte Murray shortly — and he’s not a wing defender as the team is targeting, but he’s still a very reliable player.
On Monday, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported that the team has remained interested in Jones.
Tyus Jones has drawn trade interest from the Magic, Spurs, Nets, Lakers and Timberwolves, league sources told HoopsHype. The Wizards value Jones as a potential piece going forward and are open to re-signing him in free agency this summer. As recently reported by HoopsHype, Washington would covet a future first-round pick to consider parting with Jones.
Jones has remained as consistent as ever this season and, depending on the health of Gabe Vincent, acquiring Jones could be the type of small move that would make a big difference.
Nets want more than two first round picks for Finney-Smith, Lakers interested
Perhaps the top target now for the Lakers, given the injury to Jarred Vanderbilt, is Dorian Finney-Smith and/or Royce O’Neale. The pair of Nets wings had been Lakers targets prior to the injury, but the focus likely increases now.
But it reportedly won’t be cheap. A recent article from Brian Lewis of the NY Post indicated that the Nets turned down a big offer for DFS already, but the Lakers remain interested.
A source told The Post the Nets rejected an offer of two first-rounders for Finney-Smith, reportedly coveted by not just the Lakers but also by the Mavericks, Bucks, Thunder, Suns and Kings.
It should be noted that the date or time of that offer isn’t reported and it could have been an offer from earlier in the season. It’s hard to imagine the Nets are turning down an offer in the last week of two first round picks for DFS.
But it does offer some insight, no matter when the offer came, into how Brooklyn values him.
Hawks don’t want salary for next year in trade
In the same NY Post article, there was a bit of insight into the Hawks and perhaps another hold-up in the Dejounte Murray trade talks. While it’s clear that D’Angelo Russell and draft picks have been a sticking point, the Hawks’ reported desire not to take on long-term salary could be another hurdle.
As he is wont to do, LeBron James is prodding them to add. Murray is seemingly at the top of the wish list, but the Hawks don’t want to take on salary for next season and Russell has an option.
For once, the Lakers do not have expiring deals on their roster. The most likely players to be dealt for Murray in Russell, Rui Hachimura or even Vincent are all long-term deals. It seems like there are many hurdles for this deal and either one or both sides will blink in the coming days or this deal isn’t going to come close to being done.
Raptors want first round pick for Bruce Brown
In the days and weeks before the deadline, teams' asking prices for players are always a bit fanatical. Everyone wants one or more first-round picks for their role player, and few rarely get them.
However, Bruce Brown could be an exception to that. As a player fresh off helping a team win a title and with multiple years on his deal, Toronto’s asking price of a first round pick, as reported by longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein, doesn’t seem too off-kilter.
Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri continues to search for a first-round pick as the centerpiece of any Bruce Brown trade, league sources say. The Lakers and Knicks continue to be mentioned as interested suitors.
There are going to be numerous teams interested in a 3-and-D player like Brown, which would only help to buoy the asking price from the Raptors. But if the price exceeds one first round pick in any sort of bidding war, then things start to get tough for the Lakers to keep up.
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