NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers Targetting Hassan Whiteside or JaVale McGee Before Deadline

Published 03/05/2021, 8:15 PM EST
Jan 12, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center JaVale McGee (6) drives against Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) in the first quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports


Los Angeles Lakers haven’t been in the best of forms lately. They have won only three out of their last eight games and have slipped to the third seed in the stacked Western Conference.

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One of the biggest reasons for their recent slump has been the injury to their big man, Anthony Davis. Davis aggravated his Achilles’ tendonosis injury against the Nuggets and is set to miss a minimum of three weeks.

Although the Lakers have two decent centers in Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell in their front-court, they are missing an explosive rim-running center like JaVale McGee or Dwight Howard.

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Without an explosive center apart from AD in the rotation, the champions have struggled in Davis’ absence. Hence, with the trade deadline and buyout deadline closing in, the Lakers are eager to add a center to their roster.

December 17, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings center Hassan Whiteside (20) celebrates a basket against the Golden State Warriors during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

According to Los Angeles Times’ Dan Volke, executives on rival teams think the Lakers could target Hassan Whiteside or JaVale McGee. Both McGee and Whiteside are dominant rebounders and shot-blockers.

They can be useful options for the Lakers off the bench, and the Purple and Gold will hope that either McGee or Whiteside would enter the buyout market. Unfortunately, given the dearth of assets they have, a trade seems rather improbable.

What other options do the Lakers have ahead of the buyout deadline?

While McGee and Whiteside can be decent options from the buyout market, given the talent available, the Lakers could bring in a much more prominent center and forward in Andre Drummond or Blake Griffin.

Drummond and Griffin are marquee names in the buyout market and are targeted by multiple teams like Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat.

But given the Lakers’ championship pedigree, a player like Griffin might be very interested. That’s because the 32-year-old has made it to the playoffs multiple times but has never won the title in his career.

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Feb 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel (right) talks to his team during a timeout in the fourth quarter of the Lakers 96-94 loss to the Miami Heat at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

With the Lakers, he could be a great veteran presence and could be a useful player in their bench rotation. Given that he is a free agent now, he can easily accept a veteran minimum with the champions.

Apart from that, Drummond can also be an excellent addition. But given that he is currently in his prime, it might be tough for the champions to sign the 6’10” center.

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If Drummond does accept a role in the Lakers and proves himself, he might be in for a big paycheck. The Lakers do not have a lot of time left to improve their roster. Who do you think the champions will sign before the deadline?

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Aditya Mohapatra

701 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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