The NBA trade deadline is creeping up on us and the Los Angeles Lakers are sure to be a team to keep an eye on. It’s well known that they intend to create enough cap room to pursue two superstar free agents, with names like LeBron James, Paul George, and DeMarcus Cousins expected to become available.
However, complicating matters is the fact that, for now, the Lakers only have enough space available for one max contract. If they hope to see their dream scenario realized, they will have to find a way to shed some of their larger contracts.
With that being the case, the Lakers Nation News Feed has Trevor Lane and Harrison Faigen take a look at some recent rumors regarding Luol Deng and Jordan Clarkson, who together take up over 30 million in cap space.
That money could be the difference between landing one star this summer and two, and as Faigen points out, one star likely isn’t enough for the team to contend, which makes it that much more difficult to sell the idea of coming to Los Angeles. It may be a situation where the Lakers have to get two stars or none at all.
When looking at the Lakers’ options, Deng’s contract, in particular, sticks out. He has played in just one game for the Lakers this season despite being one of the highest paid players on the team, and is hoping that he can be moved to a team that will give him minutes.
However, recent reports indicate that no organizations are willing to absorb Deng’s hefty salary without being compensated with young players or first round picks, which the Lakers are unwilling to move. This could leave Deng stuck on a team that he has no future on.
Clarkson, on the other hand, has become a dependable sixth man for the Lakers, and trading him would almost certainly weaken the team. This puts the Lakers in a precarious situation since they don’t have their draft pick this summer, and could result in Clarkson sticking with the team for the near future.
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