The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings might be in different positions right now in the NBA standings, but both are trying to get rid of players and aren’t really being shy about it, with the Lakers trying to make a massive contract dump through Roy Hibbert, Brandon Bass, Nick Young and Lou Williams, while the Kings are hoping to get something for Rudy Gay.
The Lakers don’t surprise anyone by trying to get rid of one third of their roster. In a tanking season and with hope of a better future, they’re simply making the most of the players they don’t want as part of that better future.
Hibbert is having his worst season as a pro on both ends of the floor, averaging 6.9 points per game. Playing on a team with no defense isn’t helping, but the Lakers are trying to get something for his $15.5 million expiring deal. Brandon Bass, averaging 6.3 points per game this season, does have a contract for 2016-2017, but he’s making just $3 million this season and in the next one, which makes him easier to move.
The dynamic duo of Williams and Young is for fans of volume scoring and some energy off the bench. Williams is putting up the same numbers overall like last season in Toronto, but his per minute numbers are down from 22.2 points per 36 minutes to 18.8 in the same timeframe. He has $14 million left on the two years after this one. Young has become close to useless this season, averaging 7.6 points on 36.7% from the field, which is what happens when you play with a coach that hates you and next to a player you hate as well (Kobe Bryant). He makes $5.4 million next season and has a $5.6 million player option for 2017-2018.
Each one of them can be useful in the right situation, but taking on Hibbert’s deal for very little offensive production seems to be asking for a lot from teams, especially when clearing cap space isn’t all that this trade deadline. Bass can be useful in any spot and costs virtually nothing, although giving up a second round pick for him at this stage is overpaying. Williams is for any team looking for some quick scoring off the bench while slightly overpaying for it. Young might not find takers, and who knows if a buyout isn’t in the cards at some point down the line, although he might not be willing to take it.
The Kings are in a different situation. They’re battling for a playoff spot, only 1.5 games behind 8th in the West. Rudy Gay does bring points to the table, regardless of his position (plays power forward 27% of the time), averaging 18 points per game this season. What can they get for a guy who makes $13.3 million next season, has a $14.2 million player option for 2017-2018 and is turning 30 in the summer, and always has minor injuries he deals with? Not sure what the Kings are doing here, and if they can actually put themselves closer to the playoffs by getting rid of Gay this season, unless it’s for some defensive star, which probably isn’t available at this point.
The Celtics are looking for a small forward who can score (more interested in Gallinari though), so if the Kings can get more than a first round pick for Gay, they might take it.