Sports Out West

Lakers decide to stay put at trade deadline

Photo Credit: 
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

The trade deadline came and went for the Los Angeles Lakers as they stood pat with no additional deals made on Thursday.

Los Angeles was looking to move a group of their big men in Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, and Chris Kaman but could not a suitable deal that had what they desired in either draft picks or young players.

Of the three,  Hill appeared to be the most likely to be traded, but talks between the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets fell apart when the Nets reportedly asked for a second round pick in any deal.

Trade talks between Los Angeles and the Philadelphia 76ers began to pick up for Kaman in the final 15 minutes prior to the trade deadline, but nothing was able to fully transpire as the 76ers decided instead to complete a deal for Los Angeles Clippers big man Byron Mullens in exchange for a second round pick.

As for Gasol, whose name has been linked to several different teams over the past month, it was just another trade deadline without incident for  the 13-year veteran.

However, Los Angeles did make a transaction on Wednesday night as they traded Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for a pair of young guards in Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. The move saved the team roughly $3 million in luxury tax; they are now just $8 million over the salary cap threshold.

With the Lakers unable to make any additional moves prior to the trade deadline,  it does however show the team’s sense of direction with these three players. For Hill and Kaman, they are both in the midst of a frustrating season with Los Angeles.

Prior to the last few games, Kaman was not receiving the adequate playing time that he thought he would get when he signed with the team last offseason.

He had 24 games this season where head coach Mike D’Antoni chose not to play him. When he has received playing time, it has fluctuated. As for Hill, the forward had a stretch of six starts in November and a number of spot start throughout the season. 

Hill and Kaman’s playing has changed a handful of times this season, which has not allowed them to become consistent contributors. 

Finally, the Lakers’ decision to hold onto Gasol brings up a number of interesting scenarios.

By not trading him, the team retains the four-time All-Star’s Bird rights. Gasol’s name has been through trade rumors for the past two seasons and with him likely headed to free agency, it begs the question if Los Angeles truly believes that they can keep the two-time NBA champion come July.

Nonetheless, with the trade deadline coming and going for the Lakers, it will interesting to see how they handle time between now and the NBA draft, where trade talks will once again be a hot topic of conversation.

Photo Credit: Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.