Following Wednesday night’s loss against the Kings, the Los Angeles Lakers have fallen to 24-13 in the West, 3.5 games back from the first seed, on a two-game losing streak.
With the Purple and Gold off to a rough start, it’s looking increasingly likely that they’ll make a move ahead of this month’s trade deadline. Two early names the team has on their radar? Hassan Whiteside of the Kings, and their former center, JaVale McGee.
Per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, executives on rival teams think the Lakers could target Hassan Whiteside or JaVale McGee to provide help at center.
The Lakers have been thin in the frontcourt since Anthony Davis was ruled out for a further four weeks on Feb. 19 due to a strained calf.
After signing a one-year, $2.3 million contract last in November, Whiteside is eligible to become a free agent at the end of this season. While his performance has been described as underwhelming and inconsistent, the 31-year-old could make a real difference in L.A. with his size, rebounding, and shot-blocking ability.
JaVale McGee was a solid piece for the Lakeshow last season, but acquiring him is a bit more complicated. Because McGee was traded from the Lakers so shortly ago, the only way they could get him is if a third team acquired him via trade and then released him. Still, JaVale is exactly the type of role-player that they need right now. In 26 games with the Cavs, he averaged 7.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Obviously, things will change when Anthony Davis returns to the lineup, and they should resemble more of the team we saw win the title last season. If they’re able to add JaVale or Whiteside to the fold, however, it could get them that much closer to securing their second-straight Championship.