The Los Angeles Lakers made a massive trade for D’Angelo Russell on Wednesday and only had to trade one protected first-round pick to get Russell Westbrook out of town. All in all, it was a great trade for Los Angeles.
Fans knew that Rob Pelinka was not done reaching into his bag of tricks before the deadline with a move likely to happen on Thursday. That is exactly what happened earlier on Thursday morning and while a trade was expected, the trade itself was a surprise.
The Lakers agreed to trade center Thomas Bryant — who has had some really good stretches this season — to the Denver Nuggets for Davon Reed and three second-round picks.
This comes as a total surprise as Bryant was not someone who was expected to be traded at the deadline. With Bryant off the roster, the Lakers do not have a single true center (they could always trade for one), making the move even more surprising. That being said, this is a hefty price for 30+ games of an expiring center who is slightly above average, if that.
Lakers fans should thank DeAndre Jordan for this Thomas Bryant trade.
Los Angeles was able to recoup all of the picks that the team traded for Rui Hachimura (when you look at it that way, this is a home run) thanks to an old friend. DeAndre Jordan was a massive disappointment on the Lakers last season to the point where it looked like he should be in Taiwan, not Dwight Howard.
Despite being terrible last year, the Nuggets somehow convinced themselves to sign Jordan to be Nikola Jokic’s backup. That plan went exactly how every single Lakers fan could have predicted.
Jordan has once again been awful this year, averaging 4.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game. It has been so bad that Jordan is pretty much out of the rotation except for extreme circumstances.
Los Angeles may not have been expecting to trade Bryant today at the deadline but when a team offers three second-round picks for someone who was going to be on your bench you take that deal every single time.
The Los Angeles Lakers traded Russell Westbrook in a three-team deal on Wednesday and it was an absolute heist for the purple and gold.
The Lakers certainly have some things to figure out with the lineup and rotation (with LA not having any size anymore), but in the long run, they are much better off selling high on Bryant and pivoting with the new players they have on the roster.