After publish of the post, NBA salary and CBA guru Eric Pincus revealed that Julius Randle could not be dealt until August 13, while Jordan Hill can’t be traded until mid-January.
This essentially shoots down a trade that already seemed like a long-shot.
As is, it seems like the Lakers are done for the off-season, save for one or two minimum contracts and possibly a signing at the room level exception. However, the highest profile free agent still on the market, Eric Bledsoe, might have the focus of the purple and gold.
My source in L.A. is pushing Lakers to offer Julius Randle, Jordan Hill & 1st Rd Pick from Lin deal in sign & trade for Bledsoe.
The Lakers have had interest in Bledsoe during free agency, but maintain that they want flexibility for future off-seasons. However, Bledsoe would be as attractive an asset for future free agents as one can get.
In his first season as a full-time starter, Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, and shot 47% from the field. However, he managed just 43 games due to various injuries. Given the reputation of the Phoenix training staff, those injuries are likely a cause of concern for prospective teams.
Recently, it was reported that the Suns and Bledsoe were very far apart in contract negotiations, with Bledsoe seeking the full, five-year max and the Suns offering something in the three-year range below the max.
This trade would clear out the logjam in the frontcourt for the Lakers, but would also see the Lakers two best big men being sent out.
Would you do this trade for Bledsoe?