The biggest names on the Los Angeles Lakers have been in trade rumors for much of the season, but it might be a few role players that get dealt at the deadline.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Lakers are looking to create roster spots, and will attempt to move bench players to do so. Steve Blake, Chris Duhon, Devin Ebanks and Darius Morris are reportedly available.
The Lakers are slacking in future draft picks, especially after they acquired Steve Nash in the offseason. As part of a sign-and-trade for the point guard, Los Angeles sent four picks to the Phoenix Suns. Phoenix received L.A.’s first-round selections 2013 and 2015, as well as their second-round selections in 2013 and 2014.
None of the Lakers bench players are in very high demand. Wojnarowski reports that the Lakers are looking for second-round picks in return.
Almost all of the players that the Lakers are looking to move have struggled to find consistent minutes. Ebanks has played in just 17 games, averaging 3.7 points per contest. Morris and Duhon have both missed 14 games. Most of their minutes came when Nash and Blake were injured. Blake has only played in 18 games, because of injuries, but is currently healthy.
Blake might be the trade asset with the most value. Teams may be wary of taking on Duhon’s contract, which lasts until 2014. Ebanks and Morris are very inexperienced, having started a combined 32 games in their NBA careers.
It doesn’t look like the Lakers will move Dwight Howard, despite the center’s impending free agency. L.A. will try to re-sign the three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner, and they can offer him the most money in the summer.
Pau Gasol was almost traded by the Lakers last season, but he has very little value, at this point. He’s averaging a career-low in points and will miss a few more weeks with a foot injury.