The NBA season isn’t over yet, but the Los Angeles Lakers already find themselves smack in the center of a fresh new batch of trade rumors. This isn’t anything new, as tossing the name “Lakers” into a rumor guarantees plenty of attention and thus has been a favorite tactic of those hoping to push an agenda, but this time the rumor comes from an NBA team rather than an unnamed source.
As Uproxx pointed out, it appears as though the agent of newly-signed rookie Patricio Garino took a photo of the contract signing and posted it to Twitter. However, in the background, a whiteboard is visible with a list of names, and under “Hybrid Trade” one can find the names of both Larry Nance Jr. and Luol Deng:
For his part, Magic general manager Rob Hennigan downplayed the leaking of the list via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:
Asked by the Orlando Sentinel for comment, Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said the lists are “not indicative of plans” and were “simply listing options, including some of which other teams have inquired about.”
Based on the other names on the list, including Wilson Chandler, Stanley Harris, Tobias Harris, and Thaddeus Young, that “Hybrid Trade” refers to players who can play either small forward or power forward and would have to be acquired via trade because they are under contract.
After another difficult season which showed that the young pieces that Orlando acquired aren’t quite ready to push the team to playoff contention, it seems somewhat likely that the Magic will be motivated to make some moves this summer. They have some talented young players like Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, Elfrid Payton, and Evan Fournier, but the list doesn’t make it clear exactly what kind of move the Magic are looking to make.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are a lot of names on the list and a column of free agents as well, plus whatever players are out of frame. However, if the Lakers can find a way to unload Deng’s enormous contract in a deal Orlando, well, that certainly would be an impressive move from new General Manager Rob Pelinka.