In the hours leading up to the 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline, a few notable players could be headed elsewhere. While playoff teams are looking to make additions for a run to the NBA Finals, some of the league’s worst teams are also trying to improve their roster.
The Los Angeles Lakers have no chance of reaching the postseason, owning the league’s fourth-worst record, following the All-Star break. Still, they’ve been at the center of trade rumors involving the best players on the market. When it was reported that Goran Dragic would not re-sign with the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers were named as one of the clubs seeking to acquire the guard. It appears unlikely that L.A. will deal for Dragic, but the Lakers also have their eyes on another point guard.
According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, Los Angeles is interested in Ty Lawson. The Denver Nuggets are, reportedly, trying to trade Lawson, who is in his sixth season with the team. Denver is 8.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and a few of their top players have been mentioned in trade rumors.
The Lakers are certainly in need of help at point guard. Trading for Jeremy Lin has not worked out as planned, and he’s seen his playing time decrease over the course of the season. Jordan Clarkson has gotten the starting nod in recent games, but Lawson would be a significant improvement. Lawson is averaging 16.9 points and 10.1 assists per game, which is tied for the league lead. He has two years and $25.6 million left on his contract, after this season.
As bad as the Lakers have been, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been even worse, winning 11 games before the All-Star break and holding the worst record in the West. Still, Minnesota is looking to add a veteran before the deadline.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Timberwolves are working on a reunion with Kevin Garnett. The team, who traded Garnett in 2007, is looking to acquire him from the Brooklyn Nets. According to the report, the proposed deal would send Garnett to Minnesota in exchange for Thaddeus Young.
The move isn’t likely to make the Timberwolves any better, considering the 38-year-old is playing just 20.3 minutes per game, averaging 6.8 points and 6.8 rebounds. Minnesota could use Garnett’s leadership, since they are led by young players like Andrew Wiggins and Shabazz Muhammad. The deal would allow Garnett to retire with the team that he spent the first 12 years of his career with, and it would rid the Wolves of Young’s contract. Young has a player option for nearly $10 million next year.
According to Stein, the decision, largely, falls on Garnett. The 15-time All-Star has previously stated that he doesn’t want to leave Brooklyn this year, and accepting the trade would mean exiting a playoff race. Garnett has ruled out the possibility of a buyout, according to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, so he’ll either be sent to Minnesota or stay in Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers may have finalized a deal to acquire the Nuggets' Arron Afflalo, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
Doc Rivers is interested in bringing the veteran to the Los Angeles Clippers, but that, reportedly, won’t happen. Rivers coached Garnett with the Boston Celtics for six seasons.