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Lakers Rumors: Hassan Whiteside, JaVale McGee Could Be Targeted in Trade, Buyout

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 3, 2021

Sacramento Kings center Hassan Whiteside (20) reacts to a call during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Hector Amezcua)
Hector Amezcua/Associated Press

With the Los Angeles Lakers needing more depth in the frontcourt, the defending NBA champions are reportedly looking at two centers in the trade or buyout market.  

Per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, executives on rival teams think the Lakers could target Hassan Whiteside or JaVale McGee to provide help at center. 

The Lakers have been thin in the frontcourt since Anthony Davis was ruled out for a further four weeks on Feb. 19 due to a strained calf. 

Los Angeles has lost five of its past eight games without Davis after starting the season 21-7 and are one game behind the Phoenix Suns for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

In addition to not having their All-Star power forward, the Lakers played Tuesday's game against the Suns without Marc Gasol after he was placed in the NBA's health and safety protocol.

Montrezl Harrell made his first start of the season against Phoenix but only scored six points and had two rebounds in 19 minutes. 

Whiteside, who has missed the Sacramento Kings' past five games due to the NBA's health and safety protocols, has averaged 8.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in 23 appearances this season. The 31-year-old will be eligible for free agency this summer after signing a one-year, $2.3 million contract with the Kings in November. 

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McGee, who is averaging 7.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in 26 appearances for the Cavs, is familiar with the Lakers after spending the previous two years with the organization. He was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers last November in exchange for Alfonzo McKinnie and Jordan Bell. However, the only way the Lakers could acquire McGee is if a third team acquired him via trade and either released him or traded him to LA because McGee was just traded last season.

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