Sport NBA trade deadline: Lakers' big move sets stage for star-studded summer

13:15  09 february  2018
13:15  09 february  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

NBA trade rumors: Magic gauging market on Aaron Gordon before deadline

  NBA trade rumors: Magic gauging market on Aaron Gordon before deadline The Magic have reportedly been "quietly gauging" the trade market for Aaron Gordon, the team's leading scorer, ahead of Thursday's trade deadline.The franchise, which hasn't made the playoffs since its 2011-12 campaign, has one of the league's worst records at 15-35 and has dropped four of its last five games as it prepares to take on the Wizards on Saturday night.

While it will initially be lost in the whirlwind of the Cavs' massive overhaul, the Lakers did an overhaul of their own in terms of their future obligations.

While it will initially be lost in the whirlwind of the Cavs' massive overhaul, the Lakers did an overhaul of their own in terms of their future obligations.

While it will initially be lost in the whirlwind of the Cavs' massive overhaul, the Lakers did an overhaul of their own in terms of their future obligations.

In the first big move of deadline day, the Lakers traded Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cavs for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and Cleveland’s own 2018 first-round pick.

While Thomas and Frye can absolutely contribute to the Lakers for the remainder of this season — though Frye makes sense as a buyout candidate — both of them are on expiring contracts while Clarkson and Nance will make a combined $14.8 million next season. Cleveland’s first-round pick will take a little less than $2 million off the total, but that roughly $13 million is absolutely massive for a team looking to clear cap space for this summer.

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In the first big move of deadline day, the Lakers traded Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cavs for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and Cleveland’s own 2018 first-round pick. MORE: Ranking 8 worst NBA trades of last decade, including heists by Celtics, Raptors.

While it will initially be lost in the whirlwind of the Cavs' massive overhaul, the Lakers did an overhaul of their own in terms of their future obligations.

a group of people on a stage: Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson © (Getty Images) Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson

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If the Lakers let their current unrestricted free agents walk, they would have about $47.8 million in space this summer, and that includes the $12.4 million cap hold for pending restricted free agent Julius Randle. If they renounce him as well, their cap space skyrockets to just under $60 million.

At the league’s current $101 million estimate for the 2018-19 season salary cap, $60 million is just about enough for two max contracts for players with 7-9 seasons of NBA experience and about $6 million short of the $65.7 million necessary to sign one 30 percent max player and one 35 percent max player. If they have a need to move that extra money, the Lakers could stretch the final two seasons of Luol Deng’s contract and create an extra $10.6 million that would be more than enough.

Lakers brass learns from past mistakes, lowers expectations ahead of trade deadline

  Lakers brass learns from past mistakes, lowers expectations ahead of trade deadline Some Lakers fans saw the team adding stars like LeBron James and Paul George this offseason as a foregone conclusion. It's not. That warranted a lowering of expectations ahead of Thursday's trade deadline.Give some credit, then, to the new guard, Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson. Two days before the trade deadline (and five months before the start of free agency), they made certain to put out an altered outlook for the franchise’s future. Talk of the potential signing of LeBron James this summer, with either DeMarcus Cousins or Paul George beside him, had gotten heated enough in the last half-year that some in LA began counting it as a foregone conclusion.

LEROUX: Lakers ' big move sets stage for star - studded summer . NBA trade deadline losers. Isaiah Thomas: When Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson met with the media to discuss the trading away of Clarkson and Nance

LEROUX: Lakers ' big move sets stage for star - studded summer . NBA trade deadline losers. Isaiah Thomas: When Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson met with the media to discuss the trading away of Clarkson and Nance

The most straightforward way to deploy that cap space would be on free agents, but one benefit of the Lakers’ new-look books is that there would not be urgency. Numerous franchises, including the Lakers, have gotten into trouble over the last few offseasons because their space burned a hole in their pockets.

If LeBron James and/or Paul George decide to come to Los Angeles, then the Lakers can make it happen, but they can hold to something akin to a "max guys or nothing" stance and simply re-enter the bidding in 2019 when Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson and possibly Kawhi Leonard will be on the market. It would also be much less onerous to either trade or stretch Deng at that point, paralleling his former teammate Joakim Noah’s situation in New York without as much urgency to finalize the separation now.

Those general parameters were in place before this move, but that additional $13 million makes it easier to be patient with Julius Randle. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement did not fix the structural problems with restricted free agency, which the Lakers can use to their benefit. Even if Randle agreed to an offer sheet with another team on the first day of free agency, the clock for Los Angeles’ front office does not start until the end of the July Moratorium on July 6. If you add in the extra two days teams get for match decisions, management has at least a full week to see how everything shakes out before making a decision on Randle.

How will Cavs' additions from wild trade deadline fit with LeBron James, new roster?

  How will Cavs' additions from wild trade deadline fit with LeBron James, new roster? The Cavs entered the trade deadline with glaring problems on their roster and exited with a completely new team. How will all of the pieces fit together?In two seperate deals, they turned Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, Channing Frye, Jae Crowder, Iman Shumpert and their first-round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft into George Hill, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson. They then traded Dwyane Wade back to the Heat in a third deal in return for a "heavily protected second-round pick.

NBA TRADE DEADLINE : Biggest winners and losers. LEROUX: Lakers ' big move sets stage for star - studded summer . So much about the last seven years would be different if the Clippers had kept that pick.

And no, it doesn’t exactly line up with the plan of having cap space for two max-free agents this summer . But if these issues in Cleveland continue and they look to make a big move , the Los Angeles Lakers should give serious consideration to a trade for Kevin Love.

However, the Lakers likely have even more time than that because the delay makes teams more reluctant to commit to offer sheets with other teams’ restricted free agents. Since so few teams have cap space this season, it is entirely possible that the market for Randle has either partially or fully dried up, potentially allowing the Lakers to get him at a reasonable salary that could be traded later on without requiring an asset.

While he has played a part in the Lakers’ rebuild to this point, Clarkson’s contract ensured that he would not be a part of their long-term plans. That eventuality happened sooner than expected as a key part of a much larger deal involving Nance, Cleveland’s first-rounder and some high-profile veterans, but Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka set the stage for an even more interesting July.

All-Stars shine in LA, leaving Lakers, Clippers wondering who might return .
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