The Los Angeles Lakers will enter a new era in the 2016-17 NBA season after future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant retired. Guards Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell are two of the new face of the franchise candidates but one of them could go before the trade deadline.
The Lakers are continuously being linked to a possible trade for Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins. They already signed Timofey Mozgov to a huge contract but the Russian is not viewed as the center of the future for the Lakers.
According to FanSided’s Hoops Habit, the Lakers could consider trading for Cousins if the Kings decide to part ways with the mercurial center before the deadline in February. But can the Lakers convince the Kings to agree to a deal?
“Who knows how much the Kings would want in return, if they were even willing to listen to offers,” Hoops Habit noted. “However, if they were, I’m sure the Lakers could convince them to part ways with Cousins by packaging some picks with one of their top young players.”
If the Kings indeed ask for top young player from the Lakers, it might be Clarkson or Russell. Clarkson looks poise to have a breakout year in the upcoming season after a stellar sophomore campaign, while Russell also has no way to go but up in the coming years.
Clarkson averaged 15.4 points on top of 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season. Russell, on the other hand, posted 13.2 points to go along with 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
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With Bryant out, both players are expected to have better numbers for the Lakers moving forward. So should the Lakers part ways with either Clarkson or Russell to get Cousins? It will be a costly move but could also turn the Lakers into a perennial playoff contender in seasons to come.