Do LA Lakers Need a Trade Before the Deadline?

For a Los Angeles Lakers team that is shaping up to be one of the shoddiest in recent memory, there is no reason for them to pull the trigger on a trade unless it is to save money. Perhaps the most prevalent of reasons for this rationale is that they simply don't have a lot of desirable assets that can be traded on the market for something of value in return. 

Consider their most alluring asset in both talent and contract. Pau Gasol has a huge, expiring contract that is worth over 19 million dollars. He also has enough talent to really make an impact on a playoff-contending team if need be. As reported by Marc Stein from, the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns have engaged in discussions regarding a possible deal between Gasol and Emeka Okafor and possibly some other assets, which could save the Lakers a lot of money. 

Outside of the potential deals the Lakers could make with Pau Gasol as the centerpiece, there isn't a lot more that they can offer. Every player besides Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre, Kendall Marshall and Nick Young (depending on whether or not he exercises his player option) are essentially expiring contracts that the Lakers should either re-sign or let go of once the season ends.

Since the Lakers are essentially headed towards the lottery, there is no point trading these expiring contracts because the salary cap space they'll leave behind in their wake will be essential in reconstructing this team next season.

Let's consider the players on the roster with multiple years left on their deal. Kobe Bryant has just signed an extension and there is no way he isn't finishing his career as a Laker. As for Robert Sacre, his contract equates to less than two million dollars for the next two seasons and is a very miniature blow to the salary cap. He is worth more as a long-term project than as trade bait. Kendall Marshall has shown the ability to be a very good distributor for thi...

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