However, with the help of NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement expert, Larry Coon (@LarryCoon), speculative trade scenarios can be sorted out.
According to Larry Coon, the Lakers have Jeremy Lin, Steve Nash, Julius Randle, and Robert Sacre available to trade this summer. The Detroit Pistons, however, have a lot more players available. Will Bynum, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Luigi Datome, Andre Drummond, Brandon Jennings, Jonas Jerebko, and Tony Mitchell are available to trade.
In order to make the salaries match, the Lakers (Basketball Insiders Lakers page) need to use Steve Nash and Jeremy Lin in trade. The Lakers are out of cap room. According to the Basketball Insiders Phoenix Suns page, the Suns have $19.9 million available since Eric Bledsoe isn’t signed.
Looking at a possible trade situation between the Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns seems more likely. Brandon Jennings is worth over $9 million. Jonas Jerebko, according to the Basketball Insiders Pistons page, makes $4.5 million and his contract expires at the end of the upcoming season. The Pistons have a lot more flexibility to make something work.
The Pistons have more assets and better talent to trade than the Lakers do.
If a trade is going to work between the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns, Steve Nash and Jordan Hill need to show their interest heading back to Phoenix publicly. Team chemistry can be affected greatly if a player isn’t motivated and inspired to play for the team he is currently with. The Lakers need to be very careful not to break any NBA rules regarding collusion. No pre-agreement can be made between the Phoenix Suns and the Lakers prior to the January 15th date, even with both teams agreeing to the terms of a hypothetical trade.
It makes sense for Jordan Hill and Steve Nash to head back to Phoenix in January. Both players would return to their roots with Jordan Hill’s alma mater and Steve Nash‘s body of work with the Phoenix Suns. Eric Bledsoe would get a chance to shine again in Los Angeles, with different jersey colors this time. The player left out of the loop is Jeremy Lin. If a trade is done this summer, Lin goes away from the Los Angeles spotlight. However, he will be playing a style of play perfectly suited for his talent.
It could work out, after all.