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

13:15  09 february  2018
13:15  09 february  2018 Source:   Sporting News

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.

The Los Angeles Lakers have one of the most important free agency periods in the franchise’s history coming this summer . Pulling off a successful free agency could set the Lakers up to be an elite team and a playoff contender for the next five years and beyond.

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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.

NBA trade rumors: Celtics want first-round pick for Marcus Smart to flip for Lou Williams or Tyreke Evans

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The Lakers ' point guard of the future is gone. The stage might be set for more unpredictable swaps as Thursday's draft day nears. They've all fallen into place since the NBA Finals ended, setting off this flurry of dealmaking that beats any trade deadline day in recent memory.

Thursday’s NBA trade deadline is swiftly approaching and Los Angeles Lakers fans are on pins and needles, hoping that the purple and gold will make a move . In the midst of another losing season and with star guard Kobe Bryant about to deliver his final curtain call

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.

The Cavs could make a move to bring in another star player at some point between now and the NBA trade deadline in February or Cleveland could end up winning another title. Needless to say, nothing is set in stone.

With the trade deadline approaching on Feb. 20, our 5-on-5 crew takes a look at five players who are candidates to get a new address: 1. Fact or Fiction: The Lakers should move Pau before the deadline . I understand Masai Ujiri's fear of having to re-sign Lowry to a big contract this summer

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.

There are two big hurdles in this trade . The Lakers would also save two million on this trade alone, and a lot more if they were to move Clarkson in a separate trade . NBA All- Star Weekend. Ranking the last 50 NBA Champions.

2018 NBA Trade DeadlineTrade Deadline . NBA G LeagueNBA G League. All- Star 2018All- Star 2018. Talk of trade rumors and the Lakers ' summer shopping spree only intensified during the season with Randle, Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. hearing their names mentioned often.

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 .
Never have the Lakers and Clippers been so underrepresented in an All-Star Game, even as the weekend has unfolded in Los Angeles. That says something about the state of play for both teams.Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram of the Lakers were in the Rising Stars game. For the Clippers, Lou Williams was in the Skills Challenge, and Tobias Harris was in the 3-Point Contest. That’s it.

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