The intentions of the Los Angeles Lakers front office in the lead-up to Thursday’s trade deadline are increasingly a mystery in the face of a range of NBA trade rumors featuring the team as the final hours of trade season approach.
There have been rumors that the Lakers are “50-50” to make a deal featuring Jordan Clarkson and/or Julius Randle and other scuttlebutt that the team is re-shifting it’s focus to building for 2019 free agency rather than desperately trying to clear space for the 2018 class.
And now, with only slightly more than a day to go before the trade deadline, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders is reporting that the Lakers are the “favorites” to land Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss.
For what it’s worth, seems the Phoenix Suns are looking at deals involving Marquese Chriss. Several teams seem to be involved, with the Lakers being considered the Favorites.
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) February 7, 2018
Chriss, who is averaging 7.1 points and 5.1 rebounds 21` minutes per game this season, was the eighth-overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, meaning that the Lakers front office would be buying low on a former lottery pick whose stock is far from at its highest. At 20 years old, Chriss also perfectly fits the timeline of the rest of the Lakers’ young core and would theoretically have time to develop alongside players like Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram moving forward.
It’s not clear what the Lakers would be giving up for the second-year big man, but given that Los Angeles already has a frontcourt logjam, it seems like a safe bet that if such a move were to go down it would be for one of the multitude of bigs on the Lakers’ roster, with Larry Nance, Jr. and Randle seeming like the two most-likely candidates given their season-long residence in trade rumors.
This rumor would still appear to be a ways away from coming to fruition, and the only thing that’s clear is that even if the Lakers have a quiet trade deadline in reality, the rumors surrounding the team’s intentions don’t appear set to get any less loud.
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