Lakers in the middle of a lot of close deals
Meanwhile, back at the trading post, some deals may actually be getting close to finalization and the Lakers are in middle of them.
According to suspect reports, Kyle Lowry and Raymond Felton are additional caretakers the Lakers covet. While it can’t be complicated to get the Blazers to give up Felton, who radically regressed this season (10. 2 points, 6.2 assists, 25 percent from three, 37 percent overall), why would L.A. want someone struggling so badly?
Regarding the Rockets, as much as I like Pau Gasol, why would you surrender someone like Kyle Lowry having a season of near All-Star proportions (career highs in points, 15.6 and assists, 7.6) along with Luis Scola, who’s almost as good as Gasol and twice as tough? Houston general manager Daryl Morey admittedly made one monster mistake when he waived Jeremy Lin (surely you didn’t think I could write a column without mentioning his name) so I guess he’s certainly capable of making another one … except he repudiates the story.
The Lakers are determined to acquire a point guard sooner than two weeks from now. If it’s a multi-player transaction, Pau Gasol will be sacrificed. Should the Magic change their mind about accepting Andrew Bynum for Howard (Pau’s inclusion might do it), Jameer Nelson would almost have to be part of the package unless an above-average ball-handler can be obtained elsewhere.
That someone could be Ramon Sessions ($4.2 million/$4.5 million). The Lakers are doing some fast talking to the Cavaliers, who are swamped by calls, as are the Kings. Sacramento leads the league in cap room, $9.4 million, whereas Cleveland has $7.1 million. Teams want them to take contracts for draft picks so they can maneuver.
The Lakers, also in dire need of a legitimate scoring threat at small forward, have genuine interest in Michael Beasley, but it’s doubtful they’ll use the $8.9 million trade exception (from Lamar Odom being shipped to Dallas) to acquire him because of the increased luxury tax consequences stemming from the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman recently committed to boosting Derrick Williams’ minutes, making Beasley extraneous. Minnesota is pushing hard to relocate his $6.2 million expiring contract and have the Nets and Celtics leaning.