The Los Angeles Lakers appear interested in upgrading their roster ahead of the second half of the season and a potential push towards the NBA Finals.
Despite holding the best record in the Western Conference, several Lakers rumors have popped up, including recent speculation about a former All-Defensive team member.
Lakers looking at veteran defender?
According to ESPN, Bobby Marks indicates the Lakers are trying to find a “point guard with enough shooting ability to play off the ball and enough size to switch screens.” However, he mentions there aren’t many available players that fit the description.
Instead, Marks says, “I think I’d look for another wing who’s a bit more reliable than Caldwell-Pope and will let James run the point down the stretch. Minnesota’s Robert Covington is probably the archetypal example, and his $11.3 million salary fits neatly into what the Lakers can take back.”
Marks added more about the potential trade package that could get Minnesota’s interest.
“The Lakers should put Covington as Option A when looking at trade targets,” he added. “Is a package of Kuzma, [DeMarcus] Cousins and [Quinn] Cook enough to entice the Timberwolves? Covington is under contract through 2021-22 at team-friendly salaries of $11.3 million, $12.1 million and $13 million.”
Covington was a member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2017-18 along with Jrue Holiday, Victor Oladipo, Rudy Gobert, and current Lakers member Anthony Davis.
Formerly a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, he was initially part of their package deal to bring Jimmy Butler to Philly.
This season, Covington is averaging 12.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game for the Wolves.
Other teams have an interest, could drive up value
The Lakers aren’t the only team that could be interested in Covington’s services, though. Reports are circulating that the Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago Bulls are other teams with interest in the former All-Defensive team star.
It’d be especially interesting to see him head back to Philly not long after they traded him, but the team knows how much he can contribute and is another squad in the mix for a postseason push.
The Sixers have expressed interest in Robert Covington, Malik Beasley, and Davis Bertans, among others, league sources say.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) January 9, 2020
As Marks mentions, the Minnesota Timberwolves could basically create a bidding war since they know Robert Covington is sought after by several teams.
That could put the Los Angeles Lakers in a tough spot, where they’d have to give up more than they may have planned on to get Covington on the roster.
Most fans already know that Kyle Kuzma is a talented player, but he appears to be the main bargaining chip in most deals so far.
However, with Anthony Davis potentially hurt for a bit, and the team looking to make sure their roster has the necessary depth for a playoff run, they may need to figure out a deal to make soon, even with the best record in the West.
The NBA trade deadline arrives on Thursday, February 6.