The Los Angeles Lakers have done an excellent job of roster building this summer. Savvy signings during NBA free agency brought back last year’s core and somehow improved on it to give the team a great chance of making the NBA Finals.
As it stands right now, the Lakers currently have 13 players under contract with room for two more. The most talked-about addition for the Lakers is at the center position, where Rob Pelinka admitted the team was “actively” searching for options.
The biggest name available at the center position is the polarizing Christian Wood. Many fans want Wood because of his stats but those who have watched him play (as well as someone on the team itself) know that issues would follow Wood to Los Angeles.
There are not many centers on the free-agent market and a new option just potentially hit the trade market. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Tim McMahon both said that Capela is on the trade market on a recent episode of ‘Brian Windhorst and The Hoop Collective’. The duo also mentioned the Dallas Mavericks as a team that would “love” that type of starting center.
Clint Capela being on the trade market creates a dream situation for the Lakers
The Lakers cannot trade for Clint Capela themselves and quite frankly, they shouldn’t really want to. Capela is an expensive asset and while he is a solid player, he does not really add anything new to the roster. At that price, it is not worth it.
However, if Dallas is truly interested in Capela then we could see a sign-and-trade happen. It has already been reported that the Mavericks are open to the idea of sign-and-trading Christian Wood and the two sides could get creative to get a deal done.
For money’s sake, the trade would have to also include JaVale McGee, who is a candidate to get waived anyway. Wood could sign a three-year, $45 million contract via the sign-and-trade to get him paid more than the league minimum and make the money work for all parties.
So why would Atlanta do this? The main reason for trading Capela is to get his future money off the books. To acquire a player in a sign-and-trade, a player has to agree to at least a three-year deal. However, only the first year of the contract has to be fully guaranteed.
Therefore, Atlanta could swap Capela for one season of Wood and hope that raises the offensive ceiling of the team. Then, Wood’s deal could be non-guaranteed after the first season, allowing Atlanta to get off of his contract altogether to save money. If he does end up playing well, they could keep him or even use him as trade bait.
Atlanta would also likely buy out McGee, which is the icing on the cake for this dream scenario for the Lakers.
This would take Wood off the table for LA, which in itself is a great thing as Wood would be a disaster. Then it would also potentially add another center to the market that has experience playing next to Anthony Davis. Sure, McGee doesn’t space the floor, but it at least gives LA depth and is better than the other options on the market.
It is a win-win for the Lake Show and the team is not even involved in the deal itself at all.