Try not to get all torn up, but the Los Angeles Lakers you’ve come to know — dare I say love? — this season might look different before they take the floor again Friday night at Staples against the Brooklyn Nets.
That’s the hope, at least.
The NBA’s trade deadline is Thursday, high noon. For weeks, Lakers fans have hoped the team might make steps, however incremental, towards the massive rebuilding project in front of them. Rumors of L.A. as-buyers notwithstanding*, this week is (or should be) all about Mitch and Jim hanging the “No reasonable offer refused!” shingle on the front gate in El Segundo, trying to move as much inventory off the lot as possible. And let’s not be picky, here. Would it be great for L.A. to get a first round draft pick for Jordan Hill? Yes! To turn Steve Nash’s expiring deal into some young talent capable of growing with a revitalized roster? You bet! But if all that’s available is a distant second rounder, some obscure prospect with seven consonants between each vowel, and (or) some Chipotle gift certificates?
Chipotle is delicious.
*The Lakers are supposedly interested in the bad idea of trading for Goran Dragic. First, the Lakers can’t afford to part with anything of value for a guy they can try to sign this offseason. Second, unless Suns GM Ryan McDonough misplaces his frontal lobe between now and Thursday, the parts the Lakers have available at Dragic’s salary level — think Jordan Hill (currently injured), Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin — aren’t going to get ‘er done. Third, acquiring Dragic might actually make the Lakers a couple games better down the stretch, jeopardizing their lottery position. A pick they’d give to Phoenix, if it falls outside the top five. For that reason alone, the Lakers should be suspicious if McDonough even entertains the concept.
Chances are the Lakers don’t do much of significance ahead of the deadline, but you never know. Two team trades could be tough to engineer, but L.A. is surely looking for opportunities to play middle man facilitating multiple-team deals, picking up a goodie or two for the trouble. As they say with recycling, every little bit counts, and it only takes one GM doing something stupid to completely change the landscape. But those things are hard to predict. For now, it’s about evaluating the talent on hand, so with that in mind, below are the official** trade value metrics for every Lakers player.
BEGIN SLIDESHOW: Jordan Hill’s Overall Tradeability Score: Who Could Go?