NBA Rumors: Lakers Talking Jabari Parker for Caldwell-Pope Trade with BullsFebruary 5, 2019
The Los Angeles Lakers have discussed a trade for Jabari Parker with the Chicago Bulls, ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst reported on The Hoop Collective podcast (h/t HoopsHype's Bryan Kalbrosky).
In one proposed deal, Parker would go to Los Angeles, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope heading to Chicago. Caldwell-Pope has the power to veto any trade, though, which could make moving the veteran guard difficult for the Lakers.
The Los Angeles Times' Tania Ganguli reported in December that Caldwell-Pope's representatives were working "to find him a better situation."
The 25-year-old has seen his minutes go from 33.2 per game in 2017-18 to 23.9 per game this season. Although he'd likely have a bigger role with the Bulls, he may not want to go to a team that owns the NBA's fourth-worst record (12-41).
Were the Lakers and Bulls to swap Caldwell-Pope and Parker, it would essentially be an exchange of unwanted veterans on expiring deals.
One NBA executive told Bleacher Report's Ken Berger the Bulls were prepared to "trade [Parker] for anything they can get." Caldwell-Pope, meanwhile, isn't providing much spacing for Los Angeles—he's a 34.8 percent three-point shooter—and offers little to warrant bringing him back for next season.
Parker at least has something approaching untapped potential. He's an even worse long-range shooter than KCP—32.5 percent—but is still only 23. It's too early to write Parker off as a useful player, and putting him next to LeBron James might bring out the best version of the fifth-year forward.
The Lakers don't have much downside to acquiring Parker. Assuming Caldwell-Pope was the biggest asset on Los Angeles' end, the team wouldn't be giving up much. Parker's $20 million team option for 2019-20 also gives the Lakers an easy escape plan if things don't work out.
Ganguli and colleague Broderick Turner reported Monday that Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson had offered Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and two first-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis.
Were that trade to go through, Los Angeles would be sacrificing a lot of depth, allowing Parker an opportunity to prove himself as a worthy rotation regular going forward.