Lakers Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Seeking Guard Help Ahead of 2021 Deadline

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 21, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka reacts after getting his championship ring before an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers have been looking to bolster their backcourt and center position in advance of Thursday's trade deadline, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst on SportsCenter Sunday (h/t @pickuphoop).

"The Lakers have been involved in some talks for a guard," Windhorst said.

"Their big play is if Andre Drummond gets bought out from the Cleveland Cavaliers. They're hoping to be at the front of the line to get Andre Drummond. It's not going to help in the short term with their ball-handling but could help their scoring if [LeBron James] and [Anthony Davis] are out for a while."

James (high ankle sprain) is out indefinitely. On March 15, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Davis (right calf strain) would be out for three weeks and "possibly beyond."

L.A. could obviously use help to stem the tide between now and when its superstar duo returns, and adding more pieces for a back-to-back championship attempt can't hurt either.

Without James, the Lakers' top two ball-handlers are Dennis Schroder and Alex Caruso. L.A. could certainly use a third to add more depth there. However, the Lakers may not even have to acquire more help via trade.

Free agent Isaiah Thomas is healthy and available, and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported that L.A. and the Milwaukee Bucks would be in the mix "if/when IT gets another shot in the league."

As Windhorst noted, Drummond wouldn't help with any ball-handling concerns, but he'd provide tremendous production down low for the Lakers as their starter. He averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game for the Cavs before Cleveland shut him down in hopes of seeking a trade partner or contract buyout.

The Windhorst report on the Lakers' interest in Drummond comes amid news that L.A. would not be re-signing center Damian Jones after his 10-day contract expired. Lakers big man Marc Gasol, who has been out for the entire month of March because of the league's health and safety protocols, has been cleared to return to the team.

For now, the 28-14 Lakers will be forging ahead with its short-handed roster. They'll visit the Phoenix Suns on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.