Two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol no longer seems to be the player the Los Angeles Lakers will most likely trade before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 20. Jordan Hill has emerged as the one player that will be on his way out with the Cleveland Cavaliers emerging as a strong suitor for the journeyman according to ESPN's Marc Stein on Feb. 19:
Hearing now that Cavs have strongly emerged as team trying to trump BKN and acquire Jordan Hill from Lakers. Looks like Cavs & Nets for Hill.
Hill heading to the Brooklyn Nets appeared to be the most likely trade scenario with the team willing to shell out $17 million to acquire him. The Lakers would receive nothing in return for Hill, but the storied franchise likely won't get any compensation regardless with that being the motivating factor in getting a deal done before the deadline.
The Lakers have one motivation heading toward the NBA trade deadline on Thursday and that's saving as much money as possible in order to get under the luxury tax to avoid the repeater tax. With the Lakers no longer contending for a title or even a playoff spot at this point, shedding contracts and saving money is the smart way to go unless the team can land a big-name player.
With no real trade assets outside of Pau Gasol, landing a big-name probably won't happen this time around. Rumors have circulated about Kevin Love possibly being traded to the Lakers, but it remains unlikely the Minnesota Timberwolves are willing to do that for what they'll get in return from Los Angeles.
As for Hill, the veteran forward/center might have played his last game with the Lakers as a trade seems to be on the horizon. The Nets and Cavs will likely continue to battle it out for his services.
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