It’s the night before the NBA trade deadline, and the Los Angeles Lakers have already made some noise. The team traded away PG Steve Blake in exchange for MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore in a purely salary shedding deal. This deal certainly has some Laker fans upset as Blake was such a beloved player, but it was the right thing to do. With plenty of time left before the 3:00 p.m. ET deadline, Los Angeles is definitely not finished making deals.
The team has been rumored to be extremely aggressive in shopping Jordan Hill in recent days and that mindset has not changed. At this point, the team is attempting to trade Hill for draft picks, but if no deal can be completed, the Lakers are willing to give him away for nothing.
Now, why would Los Angeles give away such a productive player for nothing? Well, the Lakers want to get below the luxury tax line by all means necessary. Trading away Hill without absorbing any contract would help Los Angeles make some steady progress towards this goal.
Who else is likely to be traded before the deadline? Not Pau Gasol, but Chris Kaman. The same thing goes for a Kaman trade as a Hill trade. The Lakers want to send him away for no contracts in return. If Los Angeles is able to achieve this goal of sending away Kaman and Hill, the team will be seriously considering hanging on to Gasol and trying to re-sign him in the offseason.
It’s shocking news as Gasol has probably led the league in trade rumor involvement over the past three seasons. The main reason why the Lakers would like to do this is because Gasol has bird rights once he hits free agency. What this means is that the team can go over the salary cap to re-sign Gasol in the offseason. If this can be pulled off, Los Angeles can really build a deep and overall strong team for years to come.