The 2019-20 NBA trade deadline is fast approaching with teams needing to finalize their deals by Feb. 6 at 12:00 P.M. PT.
The Los Angeles Lakers are already championship contenders as it stands but as the deadline comes closer, they have realized they may not be as good as they could be. Teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves are far away from the 2020 NBA playoffs and may want to use the deadline to sell some of their more valuable players like Robert Covington.
On the surface, Covington is an absolutely ideal fit for the Lakers. He would be perfect coming off the bench for Danny Green, providing strong perimeter defense and the ability to hit open shots as a career 35.9 percent three-point shooter.
However, the Lakers are not the only team with their eyes on Covington as his skill set fits seamlessly on a number of contending teams, including the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, according to Ben Cohen of The Wall Street Journal:
A rapidly escalating arms race for this star role player is pitting the league’s elite against each other. As much as the Minnesota Timberwolves want to keep him, they’re a longshot to make the playoffs, and this might be the time to maximize their return on Covington. He has no shortage of suitors. The Lakers, Clippers, Mavericks, Rockets and 76ers are among the teams that have expressed some Covington interest, according to people familiar with the matter. Before they can battle for a championship, they have to bid against each other.
Covington is aware of the potential bidding war happening for his services and says it’s flattering to know that he’s wanted by so many teams:
It’s awkward for any player to know that he’s being ogled by half the league. It’s also flattering. “It is,” Covington said. “It shows that you’re a valuable player within this league.”
There are no guarantees that Covington gets traded prior to the deadline but with the amount of teams vying for his services, it’s hard to imagine that nobody puts together a package the Timberwolves like.