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Lakers newsletter: Here’s who the Lakers could acquire at the trade deadline

Would you trade Talen Horton-Tucker?
Would you trade Talen Horton-Tucker?
(Associated Press)

Hi, this is Dan Woike, Lakers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, here with your Lakers newsletter, the one time each week I try to grab your attention between Redfin listings and the latest sale email from the J. Crew Factory Store (maybe I’m projecting my inbox situation).

The trade deadline is a week from Thursday and while we’re going to be talking about it live on latimes.com/sports on deadline day, we’re going to use this week’s newsletter to talk about the names that have been most connected to the Lakers.

First, a disclaimer — most of the people I’ve spoken with don’t think the Lakers have a big trade to make mostly because trades are two-way streets. The Lakers do have one really interesting asset — Talen Horton-Tucker — but they almost certainly value him more than a marginal upgrade.

On to the players your favorite bloggers are waiting to photoshop Lakers’ uniforms onto:

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Andre Drummond

The Cleveland Cavaliers have Drummond on ice while they try to find a team to acquire him, and while the Lakers and the Nets have interest, it’s predicated on a buyout of Drummond’s contract.

Teams need to match Drummond’s $28.75-million contract in a deal, a number virtually impossible for the Lakers to get to in any reasonable way. Sources say the Cavaliers have some trade interest in the former All-Star center, but a buyout still seems like it’s at least somewhat possible.

LaMarcus Aldridge

Good news for Lakers fan Adam Levine, the Spurs are at a payphone waiting for a team to call and trade for the former All-Star.

Adam Levine would love to see LaMarcus Aldridge with the Lakers.

Like Drummond, Aldridge would obviously help the Lakers, but there’s no viable path for the team to trade for him. Lakers fans with beautiful falsettos and moves like Jagger (and tats like Redick) need to hope that the Spurs can’t strike a deal with anyone and end up buying him out.

P.J. Tucker

OK, now we’re talking.

Tucker has one year left and just under $8 million attached to his name in a trade, meaning he’s actually someone who should be easy enough to trade. The question is, can the Lakers meet the Rockets’ asking price.

They have almost no draft capital thanks to the deal to acquire Anthony Davis so it would be on the Lakers to probably send a young player to the Rockets.

And would you want that to be THT? I don’t think so.

Hassan Whiteside

Whiteside is a presence at the rim on both sides of the court, the kind of rim protector that the Lakers haven’t had this season on either end of the floor.

He’s on a minimum contract so the money wouldn’t be a factor in a trade. It’s more a matter of motivation and of the Lakers’ trade sweeteners (maybe a 2023 second-round pick).

Wayne Ellington

Bring him home!

While any self-respecting Lakers fan has blocked out most of the 21-win 2014-15 season, Ellington has continued to be a productive player in the NBA because of his shooting (and the Lakers could use some more of that).

Ellington is hitting 42.2% from three and can probably be added for a second-round pick (and matching salary).

The question the Lakers should be asking, though, is does he do enough on defense to take minutes from, say, Wesley Matthews or Talen Horton-Tucker?

J.J. Redick

A much more accomplished shooter and a player who has proved his worth to teams in the past, Redick has a ton of playoff experience and has gotten more accustomed to coming off the bench in his time with New Orleans.

The Lakers probably wouldn’t want to get too deep into trade talks — they’d need to send out $13 million in salary — and at that cost, they’d probably want more of a two-way player.

Still, Redick’s motion and spot-up shooting would pair nicely with LeBron James’ passing (and the two could talk about fancy wine). If he were to get bought out, the Lakers should give this serious thought, though they’d have a lot of competition.

JaVale McGee

The rules for a McGee reunion go like this — since the Lakers traded him, they cannot sign him if Cleveland buys him out. However, if McGee were to get traded and then bought out, the Lakers could then sign him.

If he hits the market, expect others to try and ink the multi-time champ.

Myles Turner

The Indianapolis Star reported that the Lakers were among the teams to check in on the availability on the shot-blocking center, the kind of addition that could be viewed as a foundational piece.

The cost, though, is undoubtedly high if Turner is even all that available, with Montrezl Harrell and Horton-Tucker probably needing to be in any out-going package.

This seems pretty unlikely to me.

IN CONCLUSION

The best bet for Lakers fans is to hope that none of these guys get traded and that the buyout market is super active, giving the Lakers chances to add talent on a budget, selling them on the chance to compete for a title in Los Angeles.

LITTLE BIG BALLER

We’ve got a ton of stuff over at latimes.com today and tomorrow in advance of LaMelo Ball’s first game at Staples Center on Thursday.

Broderick Turner and I talked to a bunch of talent evaluators about what they think of the rookie point guard (Spoiler — he’s really good).

And Andrew Greif wrote a terrific feature about the Ball family and Chino Hills, the town that sprang up to perfectly produce this kind of family. That will be on our site Thursday.

The favorite for NBA rookie of the year, Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball has surprised NBA scouts with his stellar play and statistics shared by elite players.

ON TO THE TEXT TOPIC

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SONG OF THE WEEK

"Change" by Blind Melon

“Change” by Blind Melon

A pretty fun trade deadline tune.

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Until next time...

As always, pass along your thoughts to me at daniel.woike@latimes.com, and please consider subscribing if you like our work!


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