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NBA Rumors: 5 Players The Lakers Can Land Via Trade Or Buyout

NBA Rumors: 5 Players The Lakers Can Land Via Trade Or Buyout

As the Los Angeles Lakers hover around.500, one has to think when the team is going to try and make another addition to the team. The offseason was a frenzy for the Lakers with title expectations. Instead, the team is flirting with an average record and placed near the bottom of the playoff standings.

Last year, the Lakers qualified for the playoffs as the No. 7 overall seed. Their result ended with an early exit by the hands of the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers battled with injuries with Anthony Davis, but are in a current predicament with LeBron James this season. In today’s modern age, you can’t stumble into the playoffs as a seven seed and expect to make a run to the NBA Finals.

Given that the Lakers constructed this lineup with championship expectations, the attitude is for the team to win right now. Plain and simple, the Lakers aren’t winning right now. There are some players with talent that could make an immediate impact right now. These five players could be an option for the Lakers via trade or buyout.

Terrence Ross - Buyout

Terrence Ross Lakers

Ross has a fairly team-friendly contract, but the Lakers don’t have any value via trade. Ross could be snatched by another team, but in the case that he’s not, the Lakers could swoop in if the two negotiate a buyout. Ross is due $12 million this season and $11 million next season, but the Magic are in full rebuilding mode. The team has been starting Franz Wagner, who was a lottery pick in the draft last year, which has left regulated Ross to a backup role.

Ross is averaging 10.1 points and shooting just above 26% from the three-point range. Ross owns a career-three-point percentage of 36%. There has to be a reason to speculate that his numbers are down because he is not getting into a groove during games to make room for playing time for the younger players. Ross could grow tired of this role and request to be released.

The Lakers have Kent Bazemore as the team’s backup small forward, where he is averaging 4.9 points. Bazemore is not a key contributor anymore. The Lakers need outside shooting desperately. A contender can’t completely rely on Carmelo Anthony at this stage of his career. Ross would be a huge help in that department.

John Wall - Buyout

John Wall

These days, John Wall doesn’t need the money because he has a contract that is paying him like he is a top-3 player in the league. Wall is due $91 million for the next two seasons. The Houston Rockets are trying to find a new home for the guard. As part of their agreement, the Rockets will not play Wall as they try to develop their young core of Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green. They also don’t Wall, who is injury prone, to sustain an injury that could sour his trade value.

Unfortunately, the Wall doesn’t have much value. He is not the All-Star point guard that he was once. With two years and over $91 million on the contract, there aren’t very many teams looking to take on that much money. There is the belief that Wall could sit and collect the money owed to him, but if Wall wants to make a run towards the NBA Finals, he could settle for a buyout.

Rajon Rondo is averaging 3.5 points and 4.6 assists as the team’s backup point guard. These aren’t exactly dazzling numbers. Wall averaged 20.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists last year for Houston. Russell Westbrook has the starting job on lock for now, but having Wall come off the bench would be an excellent one-two punch. That is if Wall wants to chase history and not money.

Kevin Love - Buyout

Kevin Love Lakers

Love was scheduled to make $31 million before this season started and $28 million the following season. He is scheduled to be a free agent in 2023 but has fallen out of favor in the Cavaliers rotation. In seven games, Love has averaged 9.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in 20.7 minutes of action each night. The Cavaliers are competing without Love in the rotation, which makes him expendable via trade or buyout.

Given that Love is making over $30 million, his value on the market is a ghost town. If Love wants to ride the bench as a backup option to Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, he will have that chance. However, Love is 33 years old and has a skill set that could benefit a team lacking depth in the frontcourt. The Lakers have been using LeBron James as the team’s power forward when he is healthy. If Love can play significant minutes, that would allow LeBron to move back to small forward.

Love is also not as bad as his stats seem. Love also has a connection with LeBron given that the two played together four years in Cleveland, making the NBA Finals four times together, and winning the 2016 championship. If this is near the end for both of their careers, why not try and run it back one more time?

Collin Sexton - Trade

Collin Sexton Lakers

Trade Package: Collin Sexton for Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, 2027 First-Round Pick

If you are Collin Sexton, the worst scenario is taking place for you right now. The Cavaliers are competing, which is great for the franchise because it’s the first time that Cavaliers are relevant since LeBron James left for Los Angeles. Sexton was the lottery pick taken in the 2018 NBA Draft and was viewed as the future of the franchise. The problem is that Sexton has played for three bad Cleveland teams, and is not the main contributor for the competing team.

Sexton is in the final year of his contract and is averaging some of his worst totals in four years.s The rumor mill swirled around Sexton’s future with the Cavaliers already. Now, it appears that the team has a chance to get something in return for a player that is not in their plans. Sexton is averaging 16.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. That also includes a 24.4% three-point field goal percentage. These are all significantly down from last year’s 24.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 37.1% shooting from outside.

These numbers are through just 11 games, so there is reason to believe that Sexton can turn it around. However, if the Cavaliers aren’t going to keep him, then the Lakers need to pounce at the opportunity. Sexton could slide into the team’s starting shooting guard now. Kendrick Nunn is not contributing for the Lakers in this rotation, so he is expendable, while the first-round pick is irrelevant when the team is trying to win now. Sexton, who is 22, would cost the team a young body in Talen Horton-Tucker, but championships always come with a price.

Harrison Barnes - Trade

Harrison Barnes Lakers

Trade Package: Harrison Barnes for DeAndre Jordan, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, 2027 First-Round Pick

If the Lakers wanted to add an extra piece, they could convince the Sacramento Kings to part ways with Harrison Barnes. With just $20 million for this season and $18 million next season, the Lakers could afford Barnes this year and next. With the combined salaries, this would allow the team to match. Not to mention, Jordan is on a one-year deal, while Nunn owns a player option.

There is no guarantee that Russell Westbrook is going to pick up his $47 million player’s option for next year, but even if he did, the team could make it work. Westbrook, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Barnes, and Austin Reaves would combine for $147 million. The Lakers own a payroll of around $16.7 this year, so the team is already committing to paying the luxury tax this season and next. Finding roster sports would be hard, but that is a decision for the general manager.

As for this year, Barnes is averaging 20.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and is shooting 42.3% from three-point range. This would be a huge upgrade for the team given the team’s lack of three-point shooting. You could employ a starting lineup of Westbrook, Avery Bradley, Barnes, LeBron, and Davis. Barnes would make up for the production lost from Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The luxury tax bill for this will not be cheap, but if it comes with a championship, ownership has to determine if the juice is worth the squeeze. 


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