Lakers Rumors: Recapping the Latest News and Speculation

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IMarch 7, 2012

Lakers Rumors: Recapping the Latest News and Speculation

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    All eyes are on the Los Angeles Lakers for the next eight days as the March 15 NBA trade deadline gets ever closer.

    Will general manager Mitch Kupchak be able to swing a move or two in order to get this group into serious contention in the Western Conference, or will he stand pat and put everything on Kobe Bryant's shoulders and see what happens?

    With just a little over a week to go, this is a busy time for Kupchak and the Lakers.

    Let's take a look at the latest rumors and speculation.

Raymond Felton

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    The Lakers' need for a point guard has been well-documented, and the latest name to joining the list of possible trade candidates is Portland's Raymond Felton.

    According to's Chris Haynes, the teams have had talks about a potential deal, but nothing has got off the ground as of yet.

    Felton's had the worst year of his career so far, but a change of scenery may help in that matter.

    The Lakers are desperate for youth at the point, so they could be willing to take a shot on Felton since he fits in under the $8.9 million trade exemption that they acquired in the Lamar Odom trade.

    Steve Blake has been mentioned as a possible piece in a deal.

Financial Concerns

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    Speaking of Odom, he was dealt before the season started for two reasons. Of course he was unhappy, but it was mostly a cost-cutting move.

    There's a reason Michael Beasley isn't in a Lakers uniform right now, and it has to do with money. Taking on additional salary means going further over the salary cap and into the luxury tax. Under the new CBA, that also means paying a dollar-for-dollar penalty on that money.

    That's something Jim Buss isn't going to do.

    So while it's nice to think that the Lakers can acquire anyone they want to help the current team out, it's also going to have to fit into Buss' long-term financial plan, so making moves is going to be tough.

Ramon Sessions

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    The Lakers have been linked to Sessions for some time now, and Alex Kennedy from HoopsWorld says they are still trying:

    The Lakers have expressed significant interest in Ramon Sessions, who will likely be traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers. After this season, Sessions has a $4,551,626 player option that he likely won’t exercise, which is why Cleveland wants to deal him now before losing him for nothing. This season, Sessions has emerged as a significant contributor behind Kyrie Irving, averaging 10.5 points and 5.4 assists off the bench for Cleveland. In four games as a starter, Sessions has averaged 17.8 points and 11 assists.

    Sessions could still be the most likely guy that Kupchak targets, given his affordable salary and the possibility of having him at a good number next season.

Kirk Hinrich

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    If they can't land a point guard such as sessions or Felton, option No. 3 could be Atlanta's Kirk Hinrich, who the Lakers have inquired about in previous seasons.

    Kennedy reports that the two teams have had conversations about a deal and that the Hawks would move Hinrich in the right deal.

Plan D

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    If the Lakers can't swing a deal for Felton, Sessions or Hinrich, there are other more affordable options that Kupchak could explore.

    Kennedy says via HoopsWorld that if Kupchak strikes out, he could turn his attention to a list of point guards that includes Jarrett Jack, Goran Dragic, Jonny Flynn and A.J. Price.