As the trade deadline draws closer, the Lakers have been eerily quiet on the rumor mill.
While there's not a whole lot of pressure on them to get a deal done, the team could surely benefit if the right one was made. And, according to Ramona Shelburne, they've actually gotten a few calls regarding their young studs.
"It’s interesting, ok Zach. This is where you get to see if they are modern GMs. Because they did one of those trades where, you know in every deal you have a checkbox? You have three ideas you want to check off the list, right? ‘We want to keep our flexibility, we want to not add cap space and we want young players, maybe get a draft pick, etc.’ Well they were able to do that with that Mozgov trade, right? They were able to do – everything they wanted to trade, they did in that one. I think they would love to do the same thing in all their conversations they’re having. But this may be a two or three step process for them to shed the kind of salary they need to shed while also getting assets.
From what I understand, they’ve had offers for Randle and Clarkson. They’ve had offers where they could potentially get a first-round pick back, but then you don’t save any money on salary, right? Or you’re cash flat. You get a pick but you’re cash flat. Or maybe save two million instead of, you know, the whole thing. Which means you do one trade now and probably package whatever you got then or you use the draft pick yourself and then you made another trade at the draft. That’s a little more complicated, right? Because you have to pull off it off twice, but I think that’s more where they are right now.”
Interestingly, Shelbrune describes a "checkbox" for the Lakers that helps determine the value of any given trade deal. For Los Angeles, most of their list involves keeping commitment at an all-time low, to ensure they can make a run at superstars in the summer.
But the fact that they've already gotten calls for Randle and Clarkson (and that they've included first-rounders), indicates that there is, indeed, a market for these guys. Whether or not the Lakers make use of that market, or elect to stick with what they've got will be a huge factor in how they look these next couple of years.
So far, it looks like they are being patient and cautious. But how much longer can that really last?