After a disappointing season that saw the team eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to get better. In an offseason filled with moves, the wheeling and dealing don’t appear to be done just yet, with another trade potentially on the horizon.
With roster spots still available, the Lakers have been mentioned among teams interested in making a move for Jeremy Lamb ahead of next season. The 2020 NBA Champions have already made some significant additions to their roster and now boast a star-studded cast after bringing in the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook over the summer.
They’ve also signed promising players in Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk and brought veterans Trevor Ariza and Dwight Howard back into the fold. Howard was part of the Lakers team that lifted the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the bubble last year but spent last season with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Indianapolis Pacers, meanwhile, are looking to improve their roster after missing the playoffs and will make moves to that effect should the opportunity arise. They already boast the frontcourt pairing of Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner while T.J. Warren, Malcolm Brogdon, and Caris LeVert are all excellent scorers.
It’s LeVert’s arrival along with the lottery pick drafting of Chris Duarte that appears to make Lamb expendable. The Indianapolis Star is reporting the Pacers are shopping Lamb around, with the Lakers and Charlotte Hornets among teams considering a move.
This according to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star:
“According to league sources, about four teams have expressed interest in dealing for Lamb, including the L.A. Lakers and Charlotte Hornets.”
The 29-year-old forward shot a career-best 40.6 percent from three last season after recovering from an ACL tear. He seems like a player who would be able to slot alongside LeBron James as a catch-and-shoot option but the Lakers might experience some difficulty making an acquisition work. Lamb is set to make $10.5 million a year and the only player on the Lakers roster with a similar salary is Talen Horton-Tucker.
The Lakers are quite fond of their player, who recently signed a new, three-year deal and would be understandably hesitant to trade him seeing as they were not willing to let him go in exchange for Kyle Lowry ahead of last season’s trade deadline. It would make significantly less sense to fashion his departure for Lamb.
Los Angeles Lakers Odds
According to Fox Bet Sportsbook the Los Angeles Lakers are the favorite to win the Western Conference at +170 and +400 to win the NBA Championship. Currently, the New Jersey Nets are the only team with shorter odds at +240. Brooklyn is the heavy favorite to sweep through the Eastern Conference, led by Kevin Durant and with Kyrie Irving and James Harden returning from injury.
The Lakers should find an easier Western Conference than they did the last term as the Phoenix Suns aren’t expected to beat them on the back of their new additions while the Los Angeles Clippers could be without All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard all of next season. The Golden State Warriors could prove to be their biggest threat.
The Lakers are also rumored to be a possible destination for Rajon Rondo after the role he played in them winning the title in 2020. Rondo signed a two-year deal worth $15 million with the Atlanta Hawks but was traded to the Clippers, who have since traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Eric Bledsoe.
The veteran point guard could be a buyout option for Los Angeles and they would do well to have him back after the timely boost he provided in the bubble last year. The Grizzlies, on the other hand, have no reason to keep him long-term plus his contract will be too hard to move. Given that they have already flipped Patrick Beverley, who was also part of the deal, it’s likely they will be looking to hold on to Rondo.
The Daily Memphian is reporting the guard won’t be suiting up for the team once the season starts. The options, should they look to move him, would be to buy him out or hold him without playing him until they can find a trade, as they did before they sent Adre Iguodala to the Miami Heat.
The buyout makes a lot more sense as Iguodala had more trade value and the Grizzlies didn’t even get a great deal for themselves when he was moved.
The Lakers could sign Rondo to fill one of their three open roster sports. They’re known to be looking for another point guard as they’ve worked out Darren Collison, Isaiah Thomas, and Mike James. Rondo, however, would present a much better option in the team’s view.