Come Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers and all 30 NBA teams will be able to trade players who signed a new contract during this past summer’s free agency.
As the Lakers significantly improved their roster by signing Tyson Chandler after he was bought out by the Phoenix Suns and cleared waivers, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka do not appear to be finished just yet.
At 17-11 and well within the best record in the Western Conference, the Lakers have already been linked to Trevor Ariza.
Among them, a source told Sporting News, is another former Laker — Heat guard Wayne Ellington, a 3-point specialist who would help LA’s struggles from the 3-point arc. Ellington is on a one-year deal with the Heat, and he has the right to veto a trade.
Along with Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles is also interested in Terrence Ross:
Another target is Magic forward Terrence Ross, but with the 27-year-old averaging 14.1 points on a career-best 56.8 true shooting percentage, his value might be out of the Lakers’ range.
Ellington, who played for the Lakers during the 2014-15 season, has established himself as one of the better 3-point shooters in the entire league. L.A. currently ranks 18th in three-point percentage (34.9), he would provide LeBron James and the young core with much-needed spacing.
As for Ross, he helped the Orlando Magic sweep this season’s two-game series. Appearing in both contests off the bench, he averaged 14.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in just 22.0 minutes.
With all of these players in the final years of their contracts, the Lakers are showing they are committed to their $38 million in salary cap space for 2019 free agency. While teams are interested in their young core, they will only consider breaking up the group in trades that involve acquiring a superstar.