Thursday, January 19, 2023

Lakers speaks for Knicks guard ‘step up’ ahead of deadline

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The Los Angeles Lakers are interested in signing New York Knicks guard Cam Reddish, but they will face some competition for his services.

The Lakers are among three teams with a known interest in Reddish, the others being the Dallas Mavericks and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Stein believes the asking price is a second-round pick for Reddish, which the Lakers could swing without delving too much into their limited wealth pool.

“Despite the price paid to bring Reddish on, league sources say New York is now seeking only a second-round compensation bill to move Reddish on, in addition to the contracts required for pay-adjustment purposes. Reddish’s salary this season is nearly $6 million,” Stein reported in his most recent post on Substack.

The Lakers are limited to trading at most two first-round picks but have seven second-round picks to trade, per ESPN. The Lakers contract that would help fill the salary easiest is Kendrick Nunn, although it would really depend on how much the Lakers value Reddish and where they see him in the lineup.

Nunn has averaged 13.1 minutes a game as a substitute and his rotation time has been inconsistent this season. However, he has shown himself to be positive at times. He accumulated 23 points against the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 6 and has three more double-digit scoring nights on his resume since the New Year. Nunn missed all of last season with a knee injury.

Reddish was the 10th overall pick in the 2019 draft but had a tough time in New York. It’s been a little over a year since he was traded from the Hawks to the Knicks and hasn’t played for the team since Dec. 3 has. For his career, Reddish averages 10.5 points on 38.7% shots from the field. He hits his 3-point attempts at a 32.5% clip.

The Lakers have kept things afloat after a miserable start to the year, struggling through injuries to at least contend for a playoff spot. As of Jan. 18, the Lakers are 20-24 and the 13th seed in the Western Conference. However, LA is only two games away from No. 6 overall, so hopes for a post-season berth are far from lost.

But to catapult themselves into contender status, the Lakers need to fit a few more pieces around LeBron James and – eventually – Anthony Davis as he returns from injury. General manager Rob Pelinka has made just one regular-season trade during his tenure at LA, but has pledged to give James any help he needs while he’s still at the peak of his powers.

“Let me be very clear,” Pelinka said in September. “We have in LeBron James one of the greatest players to ever play the game on our team. He made a long-term commitment to us, a three-year contract. So of course we will do everything we can, including tips to make deals that will give us a chance to help LeBron get to the end. He is committed to our organization. That has to be a bilateral commitment and it is there.”

James is averaging 29.7 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.0 assists this season and has been vocal about wanting to win basketball. He has carried an extra load with Davis. James has averaged 34.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists in 15 games this season without Davis.

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