Archives For Trades

Okay…so this just happened.

As I pick my jaw up off the ground, here are a few scattered thoughts that probably won’t do the gravity of what just happened justice. But I will try to anyway…

I am a D’Angelo Russell fan. I believe his talent is fantastic and that, as a just turned 21 year old playing the hardest position in the league to adjust to, he was making real strides as a player. I see his trajectory going upwards and expected, if not this next season, than at some point in the next 18 months, we were going to see his full potential come into focus as an elite scoring guard who also possesses the type of court vision and passing acumen which can be the hub of a really good offense.

And now the Lakers have traded him as, basically, the grease to dump the salary of Timofey Mozgov. Read that sentence again. Did you do that? Now please do it again. Thank you.

Now to the nuts and bolts of this.

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After trading Lou Williams, the Lakers didn’t quite sit out the rest of the trade deadline but they also didn’t make any large moves — especially the one many fans were wondering about as rumors around Paul George’s availability swirled all day. No, the Lakers settled for more of a minor move, dealing Marcelo Huertas for the Rockets’ Tyler Ennis.

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Trade Deadline Day Thread

Darius Soriano —  February 23, 2017

It’s one of the best days of the year for NBA fans – Trade Deadline Day! Rumors will be flying, players will be changing teams, and we will all be refreshing our twitter feeds waiting for the next Woj Bomb. I love it.

The deals have already started, in fact. The Mavs are reportedly trading Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a 1st round pick to the Sixers for Nerlens Noel. This is a good move for the Mavs and some nice value for the Sixers for Noel. We have to see the protections on the pick, but a young player and Bogut (who could be bought out or traded again) is a good package.

As for the Lakers, things are sort of quiet, which is normal for them at this time of year — but now that a new regime is in place I don’t think we can assume this is a normal year. On Wednesday, the idea was floated that the team had made inquiries on Paul George, though there were not details as to whether an offer was made. Today, there are reports that the Celtics are in discussions with the Pacers for the All-Star forward and that the C’s are willing to include this year’s pick from the Nets (which could end up being 1st overall).

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In a day which saw the Lakers elevate Magic Johnson to President of Basketball Operations while removing Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak from their respective front office positions, more change is afoot. The team has reportedly traded Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets.

Per David Aldridge, the pick the Lakers are receiving from the Rockets is not protected in any way, so the team will have at least one draft pick in the upcoming draft with a possibility of still retaining their own selection should it fall in the top 3. The Lakers have reportedly been insisting on getting a 1st rounder in exchange for Williams, and my guess is that the lack of protections probably swayed them towards the Rockets considering there was also interest from the Jazz and Wizards.

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For the second time in 6 days, Jose Calderon has been traded. After being part of the deal which sent Derrick Rose from the Bulls to the Knicks, Calderon was again dealt, this time to the Lakers, in a deal which helps the Bulls clear cap space to sign Dwyane Wade (coincidentally, another Chicago legend) in free agency.

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The Lakers, as I thought they would, stood pat at the trade deadline. Trading their veterans for any sort of viable return was going to be difficult, trading their young players was going to be a nonstarter, and by wanting to maintain cap space for next season there simply was not going to be a deal to make.

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One of the benefits of playing 55 games before the All-Star game is the Lakers getting an extended break by not having to play a game again until Friday. All of that extra rest has its pluses and minuses, but I’ll happily trade a bit of rust and the potential for a small dip in conditioning for all the guys getting some needed time off to refresh their bodies and minds as they head into the closing push.

Not playing until Friday also means another thing: the Lakers’ front office heads into Thursday’s trade deadline with nothing on their plate but managing the phones and trying to figure out if (and, if so, how) any deals would be available to them. There are no games to navigate, no “holding a player out” as a signal that he may be on the block. No, the players will return to practice (today, I am guessing), and the FO will be working the phones.

We all know what the Lakers would like to do heading into Thursday. They have a slew of veteran players, of varying ability, who they would like to trade. The rumors have been out there for weeks — that the team would like to find Roy Hibbert a playoff team to play for while also making Lou Williams, Brandon Bass, and Nick Young available. However, just because the Lakers would like to make deals doesn’t mean they will.

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Coming into this season, his 3rd with the Lakers, Nick Young was put on notice. He ended his second season with the team firmly in Byron Scott’s doghouse and the only way out of it was to no longer play like Nick Young. Scott said he wanted Young to play better defense, to exercise more discretion offensively, and to be a more serious player. If he did these things, he might see more playing time. If he didn’t, well, the wood has a way of speaking to a player, as this coach is fond of saying.

So, what did young do? He tried to improve in the areas the coach asked him to. At the start of the year was often seen trying on defense and taking less crazy shots in isolation. While he wasn’t a playmaker, he was more willing to move the ball and resembled more of the player he was under Mike D’Antoni; more of the player who the Lakers thought they were keeping on when he resigned after his first with team.

It turns out, though, that really didn’t last. Since the first 10-15 games of the season, Young’s shooting has fallen off, his effort on defense has been spotty, and he has fallen into the trap of looking for his own shot — especially when working in isolation. A tiger doesn’t change its stripes, after all.

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