0 of 3
Michael Dwyer / Associated Press
The bell rings in NBA free agency at 3 p.m. Thursday, and the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers appears to be busy as they try to fill out their roster in search of a second straight title.
The guard is a key position in his search, with Kyle Lowry and George Hill among the main targets.
Acquiring them may mean giving up pieces that were instrumental in last year’s championships, like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Ahead of Thursday’s busy afternoon, take a closer look at those three players and the prospects that they’ll be looking purple and gold for the rest of this season.
1 of 3
Gerald Herbert / Associated Press
Appearing on ESPN The jump, Brian windhorst reported that the Lakers are willing to transfer guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Connected to the Caldwell-Pope talk is that the Lakers are unwilling to include a draft pick or Talen Horton-Tucker.
In a roster of aging players built for the here and now, Horton-Tucker is a young piece that LA can shape and grow for the future. It makes sense that the team is not willing to let him go at this point.
As for Caldwell-Pope, his score has steadily declined over the past three years despite fairly consistent playing time during that span. However, you hit 40.1 percent of your three-point attempts, and that will attract potential suitors.
The question is whether the Lakers can give away a shooting guard who is sixth on the team in scoring when LeBron James and Anthony Davis are out with injuries and playoff positioning is key.
At $ 12 million, Caldwell-Pope’s salary won’t make much of a difference in the commercial market, but together with another player, he could easily clear the way for the Lakers to catch a big fish and put them on the proverbial hump. as they chase a repeat of the championship.
2 of 3
Jacob Kupferman / Associated Press
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported during the network Woj and Lowe Trade Deadline Special Offer that the Lakers shouldn’t be ruled out from acquiring Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (h / t Christian Rivas of SB Nation).
“The Raptors, Masai Ujiri, Bobby Webster, his front office, are going to work with Kyle Lowry and his agent Mark Bartelstein on where he would like to play if they are going to make a deal, but here’s a team that won’t rule this out between now and the trade deadline: the Lakers, “Wojnarowski said.
It’s no wonder LA is so keen on trading the veteran guard.
Lowry is two years away from an NBA Championship in Toronto. He understands what it takes to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy and has averaged 17.1 points, 6.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game in the postseason for the Raptors.
However, acquiring Lowry would not be cheap. To sign him, it would probably be necessary to ditch two or three players with Toronto, plus draft picks, to really be worth the Raptors’ time.
Either way, ESPN’s Zach Lowe added to Woj’s report (h / t The Philly Voice’s Kyle Neubeck) that Lowry’s situation “will come to an end.”
3 of 3
David Zalubowski / Associated Press
The Lakers, rival City Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers have moved closer to Oklahoma City with respect to veteran guard George Hill, according to B / R’s Jake Fischer.
“The sale price of the Thunder seems clear. Are willing to [both] recover and exchange salary for military service compensation, ‘said a Western Conference official, “Fischer reported.
The report also indicated that while neither the Lakers nor the Clippers have first-round compensation to play with, they are hopeful Oklahoma City will accept a purchase with Hill. History, however, does not suggest that this is the case.
Hill is averaging 11.8 points in 26.4 minutes of floor time and is dropping 50.8 percent of his shots from the floor. A veteran player, he has postseason experience and would be a perfect second option if the Lakers can’t get Lowry.