With Kobe Bryant likely out for the rest of the season, this year has turned into one of evaluation for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team looks to be checking out their young talent to see who can grow into a valuable contributor in the coming years.
The team is, however, always looking to improve. One interesting young prospect who could be available as the trade deadline nears is Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Reggie Jackson. According to Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy, the Lakers would have interest should he become available:
Sam Presti is a GM who doesn’t just let assets walk away for nothing, so he’d never just let Reggie Jackson go sign with another team in the summer and not match. I think he’ll trade him before the deadline and get something in return. I think the Knicks and Lakers are two teams that will show interest because they’d love to have Jackson as part of their long-term plan, but neither team has great assets to make a deal happen.
Jackson will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, and seems to have fallen out of favor since the Thunder acquired Dion Waiters. Regardless, Jackson proved that he is capable of being a starting point guard in the NBA. In 13 games as a starter this season, he averaged 20 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
The issue, as always, is what kind of package can the Lakers put together to make a deal work. Jackson makes only $2.2 million, so if the Lakers were to include one of their expiring contracts such as Jeremy Lin or Jordan Hill, they would likely have to take back someone like Kendrick Perkins to make the deal work.
Nonetheless, Jackson has immense potential and could easily be the Lakers’ starting point guard of the future. It will be interesting to see if any deal materializes when the trade deadline nears.[divide]
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