The NBA trade deadline is only a week away and the rumors have begun to kick into high gear heading into NBA All-Star Weekend in New York. For the first time in quite a few years, the Los Angeles Lakers were expected to be a non-factor in deals that might go down before the deadline due to lack of trade assets, but that might be the case.
A player the Lakers could target over the next week would go along with their rebuilding process. It was reported last month by Ken Berger of CBS Sports that rookie guard Nik Stauskas of the Sacramento Kings is on the trading block. Although the Lakers lack assets, Los Angeles might have something Sacramento wants in return for the Michigan product, according to Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors:
The Lakers are in a state of flux as a franchise, and with the future of Kobe Bryant unclear, acquiring a young shooting guard like Stauskas could be a wise move. While Los Angeles doesn’t have the stretch four the Kings desire, it does have Jordan Hill, who would fit the bill as a rim protector. Hill possesses a $9MM team option for next season, which could make him a valuable trade chip this summer for the Kings if they didn’t feel he was the proper fit.
It remains uncertain at this point in time whether the Lakers will attempt to make a deal or simply let the trade deadline come and go next Friday. Lack of trade assets will make it difficult to get a good return in any deal, but there’s no doubt GM Mitch Kupchak and company will do their due diligence in seeing what is out there.
The most likely trade scenario, if the Lakers are intent on making a deal, is Los Angeles making a serious push to land Goran Dragic from the Phoenix Suns. Dragic has been a target of the Lakers for quite some time and he may be attainable if the Lakers are willing to give up a draft pick.
As for Stauskas, there’s been no indication of the team’s level of interest in the rookie. Stauskas may benefit from a change of scenery in Los Angeles, but it is unclear whether the team has shown any interest as of yet.[divide]