The Los Angeles Lakers have been rumored to make a move for a long time as the team lost a number of players to injury. Whether it was a free agent signing or a trade possibility, there were numerous rumors surrounding the Lakers.
That time finally came as the Lakers claimed backup center Tarik Black off waivers, releasing Xavier Henry to make room for him. Black played well in Houston, especially while Dwight Howard was injured, but was cut so the Rockets could sign Josh Smith.
With Black now in the fold, the Lakers have a crowded a front court situation and some speculate that another move could be on the way.
Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, Carlos Boozer, and Robert Sacre all average at least 15 minutes per game. In addition, Ryan Kelly has finally made his return from injury, giving the Lakers another big body.
So we asked our panel of experts if the signing of Tarik Black makes a Lakers trade more likely. This is what they had to say:
Corey Hansford (@TheeCoreyH): The addition of Tarik Black would seem to signal that a move could be on the way for the Lakers, but I’m not sure that would be the best thing for the team.
Ed Davis and Jordan Hill have been talked about the most, but Robert Sacre has also been mentioned in some rumors and even Ryan Kelly could be an attractive option for a team looking for a stretch four.
But unless the Lakers are getting a big-time player or a first-round pick, I’m not sure they should make a move.
For the first time in a long time, the Lakers have a full set of available players. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen 13 players suit up for the Lakers, and with the injury problems the Lakers have, they might be better served keeping the depth they have right now.
If they are getting a game-changing player that’s one thing. If they are getting a good pick that’s another. But other than that, the Lakers need to keep what they have as this team is finally showing some signs of coming together.
Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner): Ed Davis and Jordan Hill are the two players on the Lakers roster that I believe could be moved before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 19. Both players have shown signs of promise this season and have contracts that will attract teams in the next two months.
The real question is whether the Lakers will get a trade package intriguing enough to make a move before the deadline. Now that Rajon Rondo is off the table after being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, there’s no real big fish on the trading block outside of Deron Williams.
The Sacramento Kings appear to be the most interested team in Williams’ services, but that could change in the coming weeks. A few other members of the Brooklyn Nets are also rumored to be on the move with Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez said to potentially be on the trade block.
It is pretty uncommon for the Lakers to remain inactive when the NBA trade deadline rolls around. That being said, I believe they’ll kick the tires on potential trades involving some of their frontcourt players if there’s a player or two available that they think can improve the team moving forward.
Russell Valenzuela (@RussVal4): Although Tarik Black’s acquisition added another player to the Lakers’ front court rotation, it doesn’t necessarily mean the team is going to ship out one of the players already there. At least not until the trade deadline.
Out of the current players on the roster, the most likely to be shopped around would be Jordan Hill. Despite his recent struggles, he can provide solid energy and rebounding to any team and will fit in with any system because of his hustle.
Trading Hill would be intriguing for other teams since his salary could come off the books after the season. The Lakers signed Hill to a two-year deal which included a team option for the second year.
Ideally, the Lakers would want to get some draft picks in return to get either more young talent in the future or tradable assets the team could add in any possible moves down the line.
That would make sense if the Lakers knew exactly what they are getting out of Black right now, but everything is still an uncertainty. Black showed flashes of staying power while on the Rockets, but if for some reason he doesn’t fit in with the Lakers, the team could very well keep the players they have.
Nathan Kim (@Kimchiz): The addition of Tarik Black means another player added to the Laker’s front court. This may foreshadow a possible trade as the Lakers may try to trade one of their big men.
I think that the Lakers could very well try to make a trade happen. The Lakers took their time in waiving Xavier Henry and using their disabled player exception. Tarik Black may be part of a plan the Laker front office has made in order to bolster their roster.
The two big men that may be shopped around would be Ed Davis or Jordan Hill. Both are quality players who could have an immediate impact to their potential new teams. The only difference is their contracts in which Hill is being paid about 8 million dollars more a year than Davis. It is hard to say which player could potentially get traded and will most likely be determined by the team interested in acquiring them.
Both players have played very well this season and it would be hard to see either of them leave the team. It may also disrupt the chemistry of the team as Jordan Hill and Nick Young appear to be great friends. Still, a change must be made if the Lakers want to win more games and their back court could use another quality player.[divide]
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