The Lakers are willing to break their young core for a potential big catch in the free agency.
There have been a few bright spots in the otherwise a miserable season for the Los Angeles Lakers. They got the biggest steal last year's draft in Kyle Kuzma. They managed to snap the winning streak of the Houston Rockets. Oh and don't forget about their game against the Golden State Warriors when the defending champions needed an extra period just to beat the Lakers by a small margin. If anything, this has been competitive the Lakers have become in the last few seasons. But then again, sticking around like glue against the Warriors won't be enough to bring the Lakers back to the playoffs and certainly won't be enough to lure big names next season.
And despite their win over the struggling Atlanta Hawks which ended their losing streak, the Lakers are still at the bottom of the Western Conference thanks to their 12-27 record as they have dropped 9 of their last 10 games. And yet they are hoping to sign the likes of Paul George and LeBron James in the next off-season? Who would want to sign with a bottom-dweller team in the first place?
Despite their struggles, the Lakers are still willing to break their young core who has been the primary reason for their 12 wins this season- so far, just to have enough space for a big star. Aside from Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson whose names have been constantly included in the trade rumors, there's a new name added and it belongs to Larry Nance Jr. Remember his dunk over Kevin Durant? Can you just imagine him doing that while wearing another uniform?
Apparently, the Lakers wanted to make sure that they will have the need cap space to lure big names come July 2018 and they are appearing to have been pushing that big panic button for a long time now.Take away the Randle problem because he's likely to be traded anyway but Clarkson? Nance Jr.? Larry Nance Jr. may have only played 28 games this season due to injury issues and he's only averaging 8 points per game but if you look at the Lakers' win against the Hawks, Nance Jr. is one of their 8 players who scored in double figures, totaling 13 points and 8 rebounds. So trading Larry Nance Jr. is a big gamble despite his injury problems.
Just a few weeks ago, Larry Nance Jr's name was actually included in the 6 players that the Lakers were willing to send to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis. While that trade remains a rumor to this day, it can always happen. The question is: Will the Lakers pull the trigger this time around without any assurance that any trade will guarantee them landing LeBron James?
That remains to be seen.