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Report: Lakers ‘weighed’ trading Taurean Prince, Darvin Ham argued to retain him

Among the many options the Lakers considered ahead of the trade deadline was reportedly trading Taurean Prince, a move Darvin Ham argued against.

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

While much of the focus on the Lakers at the trade deadline was on them adding pieces, there was also a potentially more likely scenario that saw them salary dump one of their contracts to drop below the luxury tax line.

Sitting just $1.2 million north of that line, the Lakers needed to just offload effectively any player to drop below that threshold. Surprisingly, the team opted not to even do that, likely because injuries have forced them into needing every player available to them this season.

Players like Christian Wood or Jaxson Hayes, for example, would have made sense to move on from but the Lakers have relied upon them an awful lot this season. One other interesting name came up in discussion, though, in Taurean Prince, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

However, one big, and perhaps predictable, backer helped make the case to keep him.

With limited interest in their players with multiple years left on their contracts, one option the Lakers weighed was trading Taurean Prince, who is making $4.5 million on an expiring contract. However, head coach Darvin Ham was one of the vocal supporters of retaining Prince, according to team sources.

First, it seems highly unlikely the team legitimately considered moving Prince. Leading up to the trade deadline, many options are presented. As Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka said on Thursday, there are hundreds of calls and permeations of deals they’re discussing.

And as much of a meme as it’s become with regards to Darvin Ham and Prince, the latter has been a valuable piece this season if for no other reason than him being available. Since his move to the bench, particularly, he’s been a much-improved player. That being said, if it was a matter of either trading one of their bigs or a guard/wing, they are deeper in the latter department.

Ultimately, it’s kind of a moot point because they didn’t make the deal, nor should they have. But it also shows the team at least considered all the options available to them, no matter how off the wall or unexpected they may be.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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