While there is an expectation of the typical flurry of activity at the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, movement could begin as soon as Saturday, when players who were signed to contracts in free agency this past summer become eligible to be moved.
For the Los Angeles Lakers, the bulk of that speculation lies with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and their interest in acquiring Trevor Ariza from the Phoenix Suns. Caldwell-Pope does hold a no-trade clause, but it’s believed he’d waive it under the right conditions.
Caldwell-Pope’s representatives at Klutch Sports, the same agency that represents LeBron James, have reportedly explored potential deals that would better suit their client.
As for a trade with the Suns, they rejected one three-team deal, and aren’t likely to receive any members of the Lakers young core, according to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times:
Lakers won’t surrender Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kyzma or Josh Hart to Suns for Trevor Ariza, source. Suns turned down a 3-team proposal, source. And 2 sources confirmed Rockets called Lakers 2 weeks ago about trading for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. No deal is imminent.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) December 12, 2018
The possibility of the Houston Rockets entering the picture in what could grow to a four-team trade surfaced Wednesday morning. Some have speculated the Rockets themselves may pursue a reunion with Ariza.
Caldwell-Pope is on a second consecutive one-year contract with the Lakers. He signed the first after becoming a free agent when the Detroit Pistons withdrew their qualifying offer. As trade rumors swirl, Caldwell-Pope asserted his focus is on helping the Lakers win.