According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Lakers are attempting to create an open spot in the backcourt by moving Chris Duhon or Steve Blake:
“Sources with knowledge of the Lakers’ thinking say that the team is already trying to create a backcourt opening, having made it clear to the rest of the league that Chris Duhon and Steve Blake are available via trade to any interested party willing to absorb one of those contracts.”
Even though Duhon and Blake are career-backups, both players are a set to make a good chunk of change for the upcoming season. Blake will make $4 million while Duhon will earn $3.65 million. Not bad for the role these guys play as backups for Steve Nash.
If the Lakers decide to move Blake or Duhon it may be a way to bring in Derek Fisher at a later date as Stein suggests. Fisher waiting around until March doesn’t seem likely scenario with the five-time NBA champion almost certainly getting one or more offers from teams before that time, but it remains a possibility moving forward.
The backup point guard position has been a big question mark for the Lakers over the summer and during training camp as there hasn’t been a viable option behind Nash. With the 38-year-old Nash leading the way, the Lakers don’t have much insurance if he goes down at some point during the season and that may also be a motivating factor in potentially moving Blake or Duhon.
If Kupchak is able to move one of these contracts, the team would be able to go out and sign a backup like Leandro Barbosa. With a combo guard like Barbosa, the Lakers would become that much more dynamic in the backcourt along with saving money as they’d be able to lock him up for contract similar to Jodie Meeks’ deal.
It remains to be seen what the team will do moving forward, but it appears Kupchak and company may not be done wheeling and dealing.