Let’s cut to the chase. The Los Angeles Lakers are in trouble. Their chances of making the playoffs have dropped to 23% and there are a little over two months left for them to try to turn things around.
Luckily, the trade deadline is in eight days but looking beyond that, there’s a certain veteran in particular that Los Angeles has its eye on.
Paul Millsap and the Nets agreed to find a new team for the 36-year-old (soon to be 37). Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the forward wishes to be with a team where he can be a greater contributor.
Millsap averaged 3.4 points and 3.7 rebounds (both career-lows) in the 34 games that he appeared in for the Nets. To be honest, Brooklyn simply didn’t have a need for him. But do the Lakers?
Well, before Los Angeles even gets to that point, the front office will first have to find a way to ward off Chicago in the buyout market.
The Los Angeles Lakers are in the race to sign veteran Paul Millsap.
First and foremost, before Millsap makes it to the buyout market, it’d be in the Nets’ best interest to trade the forward. However, Brooklyn will likely be forced to waive Millsap, which will open up the opportunity for him to be a buyout candidate.
The Lakers aren’t the frontrunners for Millsap though. According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Bulls are interested in Millsap and that’s reportedly the team that he’s most interested in signing with.
"“The Lakers are searching to find Kent Bazemore a new home after he opened the season as a starter. And while it’s believed Paul Millsap would prefer to land in Chicago, having a connection to Bulls lead executive Arturas Karnisovas from their shared Denver days, Los Angeles has been mentioned as a suitor for Millsap should he reach the buyout market.”"
Regardless of the limited role that Millsap undertook with the Nets, it’s clear that he believes that he has more to offer. Either way, his name would likely still be floating around on the market.
It would be in Los Angeles’ favor if Chicago signed Millsap if he were to make it to the buyout market. The Lakers need to maximize lineups best fit for LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. Millsap doesn’t fit that mold.
Would it be worth it to give up Bazemore to make a spot for Millsap? What about DeAndre Jordan?
It doesn’t seem like it’d be much of an upgrade but don’t count a Millsap to Los Angeles scenario out quite yet. The Lakers’ front office made questionable decisions during the offseason last year and signing Millsap would merely be another bullet point on their list of regrets.