Lakers trade rumors: The Front Office would prefer deals that favor long-term success over a quick fix

Lakers trade rumors: The Front Office would prefer deals that favor long-term success over a quick fix

Lakers trade rumors: The Front Office would prefer deals that favor long-term success over a quick fix

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to do their best to prove to their front office that this team is worthy of a sizable trade. After starting the season 2-10, they went 17-12 despite injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In the wide-open Western Conference, there is every reason to believe that this team can seriously challenge for the championship with the right deal.

But according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the team isn’t just thinking about this season. On an episode of The O.D., his YouTube show with Ohm Youngmisuk, he reported that the Lakers were looking for a deal that would provide multi-year growth. “If the right deal comes along that makes them – in their eyes – a better team for the next three years, say, then that’s their priority,” McMenamin said. “They want the team to be at their best while LeBron James is still in the roster. But if that means not signing in February and playing the rest of the season with the group they have and knowing they feel there will be a better deal in July off-season, they will do it.”

In theory, this is not necessarily the worst idea. Of course, a multi-year window is better than a single shot, so adding players who are still at or nearing the top of their careers could pay dividends beyond this season. Where the plan starts to go sideways is the idea of ​​waiting for a deal.

Of course, there is no guarantee that James and Davis will be as good next season as they are now. James is 38 years old. Eventually she’ll refuse. But even if he doesn’t, the Lakers have a financial incentive to make the move now.

Between Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn, they have over $60 million in expiring salaries that would be easy to replace right now. Add to that their minimum wage contracts, and the number exceeds $70 million. With so much expiring money, they could easily match pay to virtually any realistic player or combination of players in the trading market. Of course, they would have to factor in draft picks to get someone of value, but they wouldn’t have to worry about a legal trade from a salary standpoint.

Things change in the offseason when those contracts expire and the Lakers are expected to have around $34 million in equity. This placement would allow the Lakers to get free agents from other teams, but would severely limit their ability to trade for large salaries at other teams simply because $34 million in space is far less than the $70 million expiring salary. Of course, waiting and operating with the seat limit would make it much easier for the Lakers to reset the luxury tax clock and avoid next season’s repeat tax, which could also motivate the decision to wait.

By making trades now and bringing in players with long-term deals or contracts that the team would expect to renew in the off-season, the Lakers would be setting themselves up to pay that replay tax. If they chose to sign free agents instead of improving in the trade market, they could also keep their first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 instead of giving them away. Theoretically, they could transfer these picks later, but with a smaller salary at their disposal, their ability to legally trade for an expensive player or group of players would be more complicated.

No deal seems imminent at this point. A lot can change between now and the deadline, but all signs still point to the Lakers not making much of a move on the deadline. Barring a mindless move with multi-year growth, the Lakers seem content with a disappointing season.

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