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Lakers Rumors: Trade Buzz Surrounding Nick Young, Brandon Bass and More

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 3: Brandon Bass #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball during the game Suns on January 3, 2016 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of rebuilding, but the franchise could still be active at the 2016 NBA trade deadline.

No one expected this team to be much better than its current 11-44 record, so nothing done will be out of panic. This isn't a disappointing squad now trying to sell off any asset it has, nor is it a potential contender looking for a missing piece. Still, you never know what will happen at the trade deadline.

Fans certainly had quite a scare earlier in the year when Brian Geltzeiler of HoopsCritic reported that D'Angelo Russell was being made available:

Brian Geltzeiler @hoopscritic

In taking to people around the league on who has been made available in trade talks a very surprising name has come up: DeAngelo Russell

You can rest easy, though, because Dan Woike of the Orange County Register reported that while none of Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. are technically untouchable, they won't likely be dealt before Thursday's deadline.

Meanwhile, Woike discussed a few players who have a much better chance of being traded this week:

Brandon Bass could be a nice addition to a team looking for a competent offensive big man, and Lou Williams, who has two years left on his deal after this season, could get a relatively nice return.

And if you want Nick Young and the remaining years and dollars on his deal, he certainly can be had.

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This report matches ESPN.com's Marc Stein explaining a few weeks ago that the Lakers were trying to get rid of their quartet of veterans, including Roy Hibbert. The center was noted as having the only expiring contract of the group, although it might be a tough task convincing someone to take on the remainder of his deal.

Bobby Marks of The Vertical even explained that Hibbert could be a buyout candidate after the deadline. The Lakers will certainly take calls for the former All-Star, but they shouldn't expect the phone to be ringing all that much.

On the other hand, there might be a few more takers for Young on the open market thanks to the scoring ability he has shown in the past. Although Swaggy P is scoring just 7.2 points per game this season, he averaged 13.4 per game last year and 17.9 the year before.

If a playoff team is looking for a guard who can get hot off the bench, Young is certainly worth a look. The guard is also open to this type of trade:

Bleacher Report NBA @BR_NBA

Swaggy P wouldn’t oppose a trade to a playoff team https://t.co/w5ED93eVnJ

With that said, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News explained the challenge of making a deal:

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

Easier said than done for Lakers to ship Young. They tried last year b4 trade deadline & offseason. Didn't work https://t.co/IU7QJvoKja

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders evaluated the team earlier in the year and discovered that while Hibbert and Young will be tough to trade, "The sense is the Lakers will be players at the deadline and Bass could be on his way out."

Bass has never been much of a scorer in his career, and this year isn't much different, but he is a solid defensive player who has become a bit of a leader on this young team. Then again, trading him could create more minutes for younger stars Randle and Nance for the rest of the season.

The same logic could lead to a trade involving Williams, who is blocking Russell from more playing time. The 29-year-old guard has been by far the most productive of the available players this season, averaging 15.4 points per game.

Even better, he has proved himself on playoff teams, winning the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award last season with the Toronto Raptors.

Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

He does have two years remaining on his contract after this season, but his $7 million per year makes more sense on a contending team that could use his scoring. For the Lakers, he is just being wasted on a team that would be better off getting minutes for its younger players.

Fans shouldn't expect any major moves before Thursday's trade deadline. Kobe Bryant will finish his days playing at the Staples Center, while giving up any of the young core would be crazy.

However, the front office could help the future by dealing any of its veteran contributors for whatever is available in return.

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for year-round sports analysis.

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