The NBA trade deadline is just over a month away and the Los Angeles Lakers have shown they’re going to be aggressive by trading Rajon Rondo to the Cleveland Cavaliers to open a roster spot on Monday.
With that roster spot expected to go to Stanley Johnson, the Lakers are looking for ways to create more vacancies in their roster, according to a report from Brian Windhorst of ESPN on NBA Today (h/t @pickuphoop)
“They already offloaded a player in Rondo to create a roster spot and they’re looking to do more of that. From teams that I’ve talked to, they’re out there. With LeBron James starting at center and Anthony Davis back, they’re looking to move DeAndre Jordan; not necessarily for another player, but they can open up another roster spot. Kent Bazemore is another player they’ve been willing to talk about in talking to some other teams and I think, again, their goal is to open up a roster spot.
Jordan and Bazemore were both starters on opening night, but due to their season-long struggles, they’ve both become afterthoughts in Frank Vogel’s rotation. For that reason, it’s hard to imagine the Lakers getting anything of value back for them, even in a package deal.
The good news is the Lakers aren’t look to get anything back for Jordan or Bazemore — in fact, quite the opposite. But in order to get nothing, they’ll have to give something in addition to Jordan and Bazemore, similar to how they sent out cash to the New York Knicks in the Rondo trade.
If teams aren’t interested in the $4.4 million the Lakers can send out in trades, then the front office can offer draft compensation. Granted, they don’t have a whole lot of picks to choose from, but if they wanted to attach second-round picks to Jordan and Bazemore, they could.
The last option the Lakers have with Jordan and Bazemore is to waive them outright, but that’s something they’re unlikely to explore until after the trade deadline because of the luxury tax implications. Plus, there’s really no one that’s available right now that would move the needle for them.
Open roster spots aren’t as beneficial to the Lakers as a ready-made contributor, but they are valuable before the trade deadline and in the post-trade deadline buyout market. We’ll see how willing teams are to help Pelinka and Co.