Trade Deadline 2023: Los Angeles Lakers Mock Deadline

  • GM: Sam Quinn, @samquinncbs

    Salary Cap: $168,793,389

    Luxury Tax: -$18,526,389

    GOAL: Don’t make a desperation trade! You can dangle those coveted 2027 and 2029 1sts and see what you can get, but at this point, is it worth hamstringing yourself into a win now move when AD and LeBron have injury and age concerns?

    But at the same time, LeBron’s clock is ticking and AD’s prime is closing, so you need to decipher if its worth making one more move involving those picks

    Priorities

    • Assess the value of Westbrook’s expiring contract with those ‘27 & ‘29 picks attached to see if there’s a long term solution

    o   I’m going to sound like a broken record here but:

    • Buddy Hield & Myles Turner package?
    • Gordon Hayward & Terry Rozier package?
    • What about the Bulls guys? LaVine, DeRozan, Vucevic?

    • Or, in the alternative, do you trade just one of the picks for an upgrade rather than go star hunting?

    o   Bojan Bogdanovic
    o   Jakob Poeltl & Josh Richardson

    • Lakers are projected to have over $30 million in cap space this summer… determine whether you’re willing to cut into that by taking on long term salary or if you want to keep the books clean to sign free agents

    • Assess what Patrick Beverley + Kendrick Nunn package is worth, without a pick or not

    o   Beverley salary: $13,000,000
    o   Nunn salary: $5,250,000
    o   Can salary match up to $22,912,500 in salary if combining those two guys

    Suggested trade: Beverly+Nunn+minimum to Knicks for Evan Fournier & Cam Reddish…

    o   It’s conceivable Lakers can get this done without giving up any assets, as they take on Fournier’s money next year and send back two expiring deals to clear the Knicks books
    o   Lakers have reportedly long coveted Reddish
    o   Obviously, Fournier would cut the Lakers cap space in half and Reddish is also a pending RFA so he’s due to be paid too

    • May be better off just going off Reddish in free agency without Fournier attached, but Fournier does a lot of things well that LeBron teammates need to be able to do

    Players to Dangle

    Russell Westbrook (1/$47)

    o   Salary: $47,063,478

    o   Salary match up to $58,929,347 in a deal

    Patrick Beverley (1/$13)

    o   Salary: $13,000,000

    o   Salary match up to $16,350,000 in a deal by himself

    Kendrick Nunn (1/$5.3)

    o   Salary: $5,250,000

    o   Can salary match up to $6,662,500 in a deal by himself

    o   See priorities to see how much he can be combined with Beverley

    o   Suggested trade: How protected would the 2027 1st have to be to pry Buddy Hield away from Indiana in exchange for Nunn + Beverley + 1st?


    Assets Owned

    • 2023 1st (NO has swap rights)
    • 2024/2025 1st (NO has right to defer 2024 pick to 2025)
    • 2026 1st (can’t trade because NO can defer to 2025)
    • 2027 1st
    • 2028 1st
    • 2029 1st
    • 2023 2nd
    • 2023 CHI 2nd
    • 2024 2nd (less favorable of MEM & WSH)
    • 2025 2nd
    • 2027 2nd
    • 2028 2nd (less favorable of LAL & WSH)
    • 2029 2nd

     

    Mock Trades to Date (Feb 2 Deadline)

     

    Lakers move off Nunn (again)

    Lakers trade: Kendrick Nunn and the more favorable of their 2023 2nd and Chicago’s 2023 2nd

    Thunder trade: Darius Bazley

     

    This move is eerily similar to the deal the Lakers got done for Rui Hachimura in real life. Instead of the Lakers giving up three second-round picks in a deal for Hachimura, here it took one pretty good second-rounder and Kendrick Nunn’s matching salary for Darius Bazley. Also similar to Hachimura, Bazley is a restricted free agent this summer who the Lakers would have to re-sign this summer. While Hachimura is strictly more of a power forward, the Lakers desperately need wings, and Bazley can do just that. He isn’t a perfect fit, but he has theoretical upside and is just 22 years old. Since they gave up so little, this is a very low-risk, high-reward deal for the Lakers.

    For the Thunder, roster spots are being scarce quickly and it is unlikely they will re-sign Bazley this summer, so unless they felt as though he could fetch more in a sign-and-trade for them this summer, this was a move that made sense. 

     

    Bulls blow it up

    Bulls receive: Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Nick Richards, MarJon Beauchamp, 2027 Lakers 1st, 2029 Lakers 1st, 2029 Bucks 1st, 2028 Bucks 1st-round swap, and Trailblazers 2024 2nd 

    Bucks receive: DeMar DeRozan, Cody Martin, Damian Jones, Goran Dragic, Javonte Green

    Hornets receive: George Hill and Jordan Nwora

    Lakers receive: Zach LaVine, Joe Ingles, Grayson Allen, Wesley Matthews

     

    SportsEthos has already posted a trade involving the Hornets and Bucks where the Bucks received Cody Martin and Nick Richards for George Hill and Jordan Nwora. For financial reasons, this trade had to be expanded to a four team deal to make it work.

    The last day of our mock trade deadline and the Bulls decided to blow it up. They traded LaVine and DeRozan for major cap flexibility, a former first-round pick, three unprotected firsts and a swap. However, the firsts are in 2027, 2028, and 2029, so this could potentially be a long rebuild for Chicago. Unfortunately, Chicago will likely lose their 2023 first round pick, as Orlando owns it top-four protected so the Bulls don’t exactly have incentive to lose this year. However, with DeRozan aging and LaVine’s knees not getting younger, they executed on a deal that helps their future, financial flexibility and they got decent value. Russell Westbrook’s $47 million deal is expiring after this season, so the Bulls could theoretically become a cap space team this summer and add pieces around guys like Ayo Dosunmu, Alex Caruso, Patrick Williams, and the newly acquired Obi Toppin. Additionally, they still have Nikola Vucevic and his expiring deal on the books and can let him walk or sign-and-trade him this summer to a contender. Either way, the Bulls have major financial flexibility now with newly found draft compensation. 

    For the Bucks, they saw they struck out on finding a third team in their pursuit for Jae Crowder, and they were dangling Grayson Allen to everybody. When Chicago said they were willing to move both DeRozan and LaVine in one fell swoop, Milwaukee pounced. Their 2029 first is their only first they were able to trade, and of course they added the swap in 2028. They acquired DeRozan to pair with Giannis, Middleton, and Holiday and in addition to Brook Lopez, that’s a very formidable starting lineup. However, Milwaukee does not have much wing or guard depth outside of Cody Martin and Connaughton. Bobby Portis will be the first big off the bench to spell either Lopez or Giannis, and Dragic will be the backup ball-handler. However, Milwaukee has two open roster spots after this move, so they can always acquire a buyout guy before March 1st. 

    For the Lakers, first of all, Zach LaVine is a Klutch client. Secondly, he played his college ball at UCLA. Third of all, when LaVine was first a restricted free agent after he was traded to Chicago, he signed an offer sheet with Sacramento that was subsequently matched. This summer, the Bulls were the only team that were really able to pay LaVine. I mention this because things may not be as peaches and cream in Chicago for LaVine as they appear, and LA is a place he can call home between his connections to Klutch and his previous experience playing college ball in LA. The Lakers also did not want to give up those highly coveted 2027 and 2029 unprotected firsts for just LaVine, so they demanded role players back as well. In total, they netted LaVine, Grayson Allen, Joe Ingles, and Wesley Matthews. The Lakers suddenly are a force to be reckoned with. 

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