The clock is ticking on the Lakers LeBron James playing at the All-NBA level at age 38, and the team is four games under .500, and looking at the play-in tournament in the standings feels like he’s missing out on that opportunity.
The problem is, by the trade deadline, the Lakers don’t have real game-changers. John Collins or Bojan Bogdanovic of the Pistons, which means expecting smaller moves, if anything, by the trade deadline. This was rumored for weeks, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski repeated it on Friday night’s NBA countdown before the Lakers beat the Grizzlies (Real GM hat tip).
“I don’t think the Lakers have any ‘big’ deals, but I think they will be active in everything to try and improve this team,” Wojnarowski said.
The Pistons are reportedly asking for an undefended first-round pick for Bogdanovich (plus Kendrick Nunn and Patrick Beverly match salary). The Lakers are wisely reluctant to give away this valuable asset to a player who doesn’t turn things around and eat up most of the valuable cap space next summer (Bogdanovich just signed a two-year, $39 million extension that pays him $20 million next season) .
There will be rumors – will the Lakers make a big Russell Westbrook to trade, if presented? Of course. It won’t happen, but they will ask – but don’t expect meaningful action from the Lakers. (It’s more likely that the team farther down the corridor from them in the Crypto.com Arena will make a move.)
LeBron is understandably upset, but it looks like this situation will be resolved one way or another in the summer.
In a WNBA offseason that could turn the table next season, nothing looms more than the free reign of former MVP and two-time champion Brianna Stewart.
And its solution may depend on charter flights.
I would like to be part of a deal that helps subsidize charter travel for the entire WNBA.
I would contribute my NIL, posts + working hours to make sure we all travel in a way that players health + safety which ultimately results in a better product.
Who is with me?
— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) January 22, 2023
Several sources told ESPN that the issue of private air travel has come to the fore in free agent conversations around the WNBA due to speculation that Phoenix Mercury center Britney Greener will have to fly privately for security reasons. https://t.co/7WZz1NXYHg
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 23, 2023
WNBA players must fly commercial airlines during the regular season as required by the WNBA CBA. Some owners want to pay for charter flights, but since not every team would agree, it’s forbidden as the league believes it would create an unfair advantage (when New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai did it anyway in the second half of the 2021 season, he was struck with a $500,000 fine). It has become a hot topic in the WNBA, where players, coaches and others insist that they be treated the way most high-level professional sports are treated.
There are contenders to get Stewart as a free agent, she will face the Seattle Storm (with whom she played her entire career), New York Liberty, Minnesota Lynx and Washington Mystics. reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
Several other major trades and moves have taken place during the WNBA off-season, here are a few highlights:
• The New York Liberties look like the biggest winners of a big three-man team winning like this:
Connecticut Sun receives: Tyasha Harris, Rebecca Allen, 6th Pick 2023
Dallas Wings get: Crystal Dangerfield, Natasha Howard
New York Liberty receives: Jonquel Jones, Kayla Thornton
Jones is the 2021 WNBA MVP and imagining her pick and then rolling towards the rim for Sabrina Ionescu could set up one of the most unstoppable games in the league. In addition, the Liberty have cleared the cap and they can now offer free agent Stewart a maximum contract, potentially creating a super team that will become an instant title favorite.
It was also a good deal for Dallas, Howard fits them perfectly. It’s a little harder to like Connecticut, a team that was Jones’ rival, and now while they may be more versatile, they don’t feel that level of threat. The money the Sun saves they can use to keep unrestricted free agent Brionna Jones (they chose Jones, which is essentially a franchise tag).
• The Dallas Wings traded Allisha Gray to Atlanta for two first-round picks, including a third pick in the 2023 draft.
• Candace Parker is a free agent and plays with the Las Vegas Aces, Chicago Sky and Los Angeles Sparks. reported by Annie Costabile.
• The Sparks rebuild their team after a disappointing season and trade for two-time All-Star Dirica Hamby (plus a 2024 Ace pick) and a 2024 second-round pick for Amanda Zahui B. and the Sparks. of the year. reigning champions. If Hamby can recover from the knee injury that sidelined her in the latter half of last season and limited her playoff appearances, that would be a huge boost for Los Angeles.
• After the Hambry exchange blew aces in a statement posted on Instagram: “Trade is part of the business. To be deceived, bullied, manipulated and discriminated against is not.” The WNBPA is now investigating the allegations.
Imagine expressing your fears as a woman and being pregnant in this profession/world…. So that later you can be sure that you were supported … and your back was “held” … only to be used against you later. lmao
— Darica Marie Hamby (@dearicamarie) January 15, 2023
Washington Wizards considering trade offers for young forward Rui Hachimura — and Hachimura seems to be doing a good job of it.
“I just want to be where they want me as a basketball player, and I want to be where they like my game,” Hachimura said Saturday via The Associated Press. This led to the next question: Is this Washington?
“I don’t know. We have to find out.
Reporter: “Do you want to trade?”
Rui Hachimura: “I don’t know.”
Reporter: “Did you ask for a deal?”
Rui: “No comment.”
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 22, 2023
Hachimura plays the game of “tell me you want a trade without telling me you want a trade”.
There will be interest in the league for Hachimura, he has been a solid reserve averaging 12.4 points per game and is a solid defenseman (he doesn’t place balls very well, shooting only 32.4% of three). However, a team giving up an asset (player and/or pick) in exchange for him will want to re-sign with a restricted free agent this summer, and the cost of doing so could make the team falter.
Expect a lot of rumors about Hachimura over the next few weeks until the February 9 trade deadline.
The 6-foot-4 Wing, averaging 13.7 points per game and shooting on 35.8 percent, is a player that many rival teams could use to make the playoffs.
“It’s a thin market,” an Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports this week. “You’re going to have to overpay because there aren’t many guys you can go with and get your hands on. A guy like (Beasley) if you need to shoot and you have a pick that you can trade, he’s the guy you can find. market for it…