According to HoopsWorld, the Lakers continue to look for ways to deal Pau Gasol – shocker – and they are also looking to move any player from their bench, unless your name is from Antawn Jamison or Jodie Meeks:
Gasol isn’t the only player the Lakers have explored moving, sources near the situation say the Lakers would like to open up a roster spot to add a new player or two so don’t be surprised if guys like Jordan Hill, Devin Ebanks, Darius Morris or Darius Johnson-Odom are moved in exchange for a backup point guard or a second round draft pick in order to open a spot for the Lakers to sign one.
So, there’s the report. But let’s get a few things straight:
– Jordan Hill can’t be traded until January 15, 2013 as the Lakers were the partial owner of his Bird rights. Regular players signed in the off-season can be traded because we passed December 15. Players like Hill have to wait another month to be dealt.
Would the Lakers even be having conversations about Hill at this point? Possibly, but it’s doubtful, especially since their team could look very different by January – in terms on court production – as Nash will be back by then and things could be running more smoothly.
– Darius Morris and Devin Ebanks can’t be traded without their consent as they signed one-year deals with the team back in the summer. This means that they have to approve any trade that the Lakers agree to, making things much more difficult. Plus, Morris has just started playing well on both ends of the court for D’Antoni.
– Darius Johnson-Odom (and Robert Sacre) are both still on non-guaranteed deals. If the Lakers really wanted to get rid of one of them to sign another player (like Delonte West) they could simply cut one of them. Although, it seems unlikely that they part ways with either of the rookies as they are fond of them both.
The word is that the Lakers have slowed their search for a back-up point guard right now as Nash is expected back extremely soon. Of course, they’ll still need bench help at the point, but after having impressive games in Nash’s absence, Duhon or Morris could easily spell Nash for 10-20 minutes per game.
If the team really wanted to go after a guy like West, they could simply cut Earl Clarke. They’d have to pay him his owed salary, but this obviously didn’t stop them getting rid of Mike Brown and sending him off with $10+ million.
I still believe the Lakers’ plan to be this: wait until Nash is back and he’s played with Gasol for a fair amount of time. The trade deadline isn’t until February. Give it another month – at least – and see where the team is at then.