The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t title contenders, but they have put together a talented, young core that could help them get there.
That could mean helping by being part of a trade for an established superstar, according to an L.A. Times report.
The Lakers have maneuvered to be able to offer a max contract to one of this summer’s star free agents — LeBron James and Paul George among them — while keeping their core intact.
The team isn’t shopping any key players, but, according to the report, the Lakers have made it clear that they will listen to offers for anyone on the roster, even young stars Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart, if it helps them fast-forward the rebuilding process.
Team president Magic Johnson declined to answer a question about whether he would trade away any of the team’s young assets last month.
One player who could hit the trade market is San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who played just nine games this season and appears to be at odds with the franchise.
Landing a star two-way player like Leonard in a sign-and-trade could tempt the Lakers to deal one or more of their burgeoning players.
Leonard has two seasons — one a player option — remaining on the five-year, $90 million extension he signed with San Antonio in the summer of 2015. He is eligible for a five-year, $219 million supermax extension this summer.
—Field Level Media