And nobody else.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is prepared to trade anyone on the roster, except Davis and LeBron James, if it means filling a gap the Lakers need in order to win a championship, according to a person familiar with his thinking.
As it should be. Beyond their two stars, the Lakers have a roster deep with expendable players. The Lakers’ title window is both open and in danger of slamming shut along with 35-year-old LeBron’s prime. Some teams place more value on continuity. But the Lakers already have so many newcomers this season. It’s worth pursuing talent upgrades.
Some Lakers are more available than others. Kyle Kuzma comes up most frequently in trade rumors. As players on one-year contracts who’d have Bird Rights after, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo must consent to being traded. Between Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope/McGee/Rondo on the spectrum, most non-star Lakers fall closer to Kuzma. They’re available.
A concern: How will those players react? Trade rumors sapped morale last season. Now, it’s time for that chatter once again to kick into high gear.
Maybe Lakers players’ tradability is so self-evident, reports like this don’t cause a stir. This is also a more veteran-laden roster than last season. And the Lakers surely don’t regret doing whatever was necessary to land a star like Davis.
But it’s at least worth monitoring chemistry, focus and motivation amid reports like this one.