The Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz are two teams headed in different directions.
Although L.A. has gotten off to a bit of a bumpy start this season, they still have the bones of a championship-contending squad.
Utah, meanwhile, is clearly in the midst of a rebuilding effort.
Last week, reports surfaced linking the Lakers to a potential deal with the Jazz.
This week, Jovan Buha of The Athletic confirmed that L.A. brass is monitoring the situation in Salt Lake City.
“They’re still evaluating their needs and will continue to monitor the league, including potential fire sales in Toronto, Washington, Utah, Brooklyn and/or Charlotte that could make useful rotation players available,” Buha wrote.
“There’s always a chance they strike a move before the February deadline — similar to acquiring Hachimura a couple of weeks before last season’s — but a trade is far more likely to come later in the trading window than sooner.”
Obviously Lauri Markkanen is the Jazz piece that would do the most for the Lakers’ championship aspirations. That said, even getting an offensive spark plug like Jordan Clarkson could be huge for a Los Angeles squad that at times struggles to score.
Clarkson was linked to the Lakers in various capacities last year, too.
L.A. also remains one of the four teams that Zach LaVine expressed a desire to be traded to, but it seems like the front office is hesitant to absorb his big contract.
Either way, clearly Rob Pelinka and Co. are open to making something happen.
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The roster is in a fluid state right now. And what happens over the next few weeks will dictate what direction the front office moves in.
Will the Lakers and Jazz ultimately agree to a deal of some sort before this year’s NBA Trade Deadline comes and goes? Time will tell.
A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.