After much speculation that the Los Angeles Lakers would make a trade to at least get below the luxury tax line, the team failed to find a trade partner. The Lakers made some noise when they traded Steve Blake away to relieve themselves of his salary. At that point, it appeared as if Los Angeles was going to blow it up, basically giving up Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman for nothing.
However, neither player was moved mainly because no deal was worth accepting.
Hill garnered the most interest from teams such as the Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans, but with no team willing to give up a second-round pick, no deal took place. The Nets reportedly wanted a second-round pick in addition to Hill just for absorbing his contract. That deal was no doubt a complete ripoff by Brooklyn, so talks broke down.
Although Hill is not expected to re-sign at the conclusion of this season, he is worth hanging onto as the team can at least try to bring him back. He has been a productive player since arriving in Los Angeles, solidifying his role as the energy guy off the bench.
As for Kaman, it’s sort of shocking no team was willing to take his expiring contract back as he can be a solid rotation player for a competing team. Like Hill, Kaman is most likely not going to re-sign and I’m sure the feeling is mutual on both sides.
Finally, Pau Gasol did the unthinkable by surviving the trade deadline once again. Possibly the player linked to the most trade rumors over the past few seasons, Gasol will walk in all likelihood when he hits free agency this offseason. He is sure to have plenty of teams interested in his services, possibly even to play alongside his brother on the Memphis Grizzlies.
It’s no coincidence that none of these players reportedly have desire to re-sign with this team as they have all been mistreated by coach Mike D’Antoni. Though nothing is a definite for the offseason, it is certainly nice to have them finish out the season.