The Los Angeles Lakers’ roster as currently constructed is nowhere near a playoff contender, let alone a championship contender. The summer of 2015 will be extremely important for the future of this team, but there are still potential moves that could be made this season.
Despite their abysmal record, the Lakers have a couple of interesting trade pieces who could help the right team. Guys like Jordan Hill, Jeremy Lin, and Ed Davis are all players who could shine in the right role. In addition the Lakers have two first-round picks this year that could net something if the team chose to move them.
The Lakers have been linked to a number of names though the ability to obtain one of them seems unlikely. Getting future draft picks or a young player to add to the core could happen however if the Lakers find the right deal.
So we asked our panel of experts, what do you believe is the Lakers’ best trade piece right now? This is what they had to say:
Russell Valenzuela (@RussVal4): Although it was one of the quieter moves in the offseason, Ed Davis has shown to be a worthy pickup. Before coming to the Lakers, he wasn’t given the true chance to shine as he was trapped in crowded front court rotations.
The selling point would be his potential. Davis is still relatively young and can still continue to grow. He has shown he’s a good player when given the chance and minutes.
As a key role player, and at times a starter, all Davis has done this year is be a reliable presence for the Lakers with his overall effort. His athleticism has helped him well on both ends of the floor.
On offense, he is able to run hard at the rim and wait for incoming passes which he can finish. Meanwhile, Davis has led the team in blocks in becoming an important piece of the Laker interior defense.
On top of his play on the court the best part about Davis is his cheap contract. Other teams would be intrigued by his price tag especially compared to his production. He is outplaying his salary and would be extremely valuable for another team.
Nathan Kim (@Kimchiz): The Lakers biggest trade asset right now is Jordan Hill. Hill is currently on a two year deal worth $18 million, with a team option on his second year, basically making him a $9 million expiring contract
With the Lakers underperforming this season, it is easy to take for granted the good players we do have. Hill, is an excellent player who still has tremendous upside. He is known for his effort and hustle, especially on the offensive glass.
The one criticism I have of Hill this season, would be his tendency to play away from the basket. He has relied too much on his jump shot, which takes him away from the rim and prevents him from crashing the boards.
Teams are always looking for a hard working big like Hill and his expiring contract would also be appealing to potential teams looking to acquire him. Although a fan favorite, Hill may have to be traded in order to facilitate the desperate rebuilding the Lakers need to do to actually compete in the league again.
Kevin Chan (@Kevin_Cruiser): The future of the Lakers roster is very uncertain. Next year will likely be Kobe’s final year and once his contract is off the books, the Lakers will have cap flexibility to pursue some max players in the summer of 2016. In the meantime, they’ll only be able to pursue mid-level players or try to swing a trade.
Unfortunately, the Lakers trading assets are very limited. If I were a GM considering a trade with the Lakers the player that would be most intriguing is Julius Randle. Randle’s potential is relatively unknown, but he is probably the Lakers best trading piece at the moment.
I think it’s highly unlikely that the Lakers would actually trade Randle, but he’s undoubtedly the team’s biggest trading asset. Will the Lakers front office be patient and build the team through the draft or will they trade away their young players in order to sign a big name free agent? This off-season could be very interesting for the Lakers future.
Corey Hansford (@TheeCoreyH): The Lakers don’t have many assets that other teams would be interested in acquiring. In my opinion the Lakers’ best trade asset has to be Jordan Hill.
Even though he is injured right now, the injury isn’t serious and he should be back in the next week or two. The fact is Hill brings something that every team could never have enough of, rebounding.
Hill is tenacious on the boards, especially the offensive glass. He has also improved his offense to a respectable level, including a jumper that allows him to be paired with other bigs who operate solely in the paint.
The ideal role for Hill is probably off the bench, but he can also thrive as a starter. There aren’t many moves for the Lakers to make, but with what amounts to an expiring contract, Hill could definitely bring back something for the Lakers that could help in the present and the future.[divide]
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