Lakers Trade Rumors: 1st-Round Pick Offered for Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, right, and Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, left, celebrate with each other during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

While the Los Angeles Lakers shop Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, it appears they're getting legitimate offers for the pair.

As ESPN's Ramona Shelburne explained on The Lowe Post (h/t Lakers Outsiders), the Lakers have fielded offers in which they'd receive a first-round pick. However, they might not make one of those moves unless they could also get salary relief.

Shelburne suggests the team may make two separate trades to land assets and gain cap flexibility.

The Lakers traded D'Angelo Russell last summer, recouping a first-round pick and Brook Lopez as well as clearing Timofey Mozgov's contract off the books. The team is hoping for a similar scenario with an upcoming trade.

Getting rid of Luol Deng—who is owed more than $18 million in each of the next two seasons—would be the best-case scenario. However, that might be difficult to achieve considering he has only played one game this season.

Meanwhile, Clarkson and Randle have been on the trade block for some time and have been aware of it since at least December, per Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times.

Both players are in their fourth season, although they have disparate contract situations. Randle will be a restricted free agent after the season and seems likely to head elsewhere after struggling to see consistent playing time. He is averaging 13.7 points and 7.2 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per game this season.

On the other hand, Clarkson signed a four-year, $50 million extension in 2016 and is under contract for two more seasons. He has been a valuable contributor off the bench, averaging 14.6 points per game, but the Lakers might be hoping to clear his salary to sign max-contract players this summer.

With the possibility of signing players such as LeBron James, Paul George and more, gaining cap space might be more important than any first-round picks.