Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be hearing near-constant buzz about the relative availability of Lonzo Ball , Kyle Kuzma , Josh Hart , Brandon Ingram , Ivica Zubac , Moe Wagner and everyone else on the Lakers not named LeBron.
Get your critical thinking caps ready to determine what makes sense and what is just anonymous posturing, because we finally have our first evidence that the hot stove has been turned on.
In the West, the Lakers have to be part of the conversation because of the LeBron James factor, though it’s not clear to rival executives whom they’re willing to trade in any deal and whom they aren’t.
The sophomore point guard has been playing significantly better of late, as over the last 12 games since LeBron James got hurt Ball is shooting a team-high 38.9 percent from behind the arc on six(!!!)
The team is likely not looking to take on any long-term deals in order to preserve salary cap space for this summer — which complicates any potential transactions — but according to Berger, they are making a few of their younger players “available” in an effort to upgrade their roster right now:
If, hypothetically, the Orlando Magic were to call and offer Nikola Vucevic and the one-year and $12.7 million remaining on his contract for a package centered on these players, the Lakers would surely have to consider it just because of how much the fringe All-Star could help them right now as a bruising screener who can also space the floor, but doesn’t jeopardize their cap sheet this summer and is actually a decent fallback option if they don’t get the players at the top of their list of targets in July.
- Lakers Trade Rumors: Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac & Moritz Wagner AvailableLakersNation.com
- Ivica Zubac hitting his stride for LakersLos Angeles Times
- Lakers' Ivica Zubac has patiently waited for moments to shineOCRegister
- Breakout from the LA Zu: Career-High 26 Points and 12 ReboundsLakers.com
- Croats in NBA: Ivica Zubac Plays Game of Career for LakersTotal Croatia News
- Zubac hitting his stride for LakersVirginian-Pilot