It is widely believed the Los Angeles Lakers still need to add a player or two in order to truly bolster themselves as championship contenders for the 2019-20 NBA season.
In particular, a versatile two-way forward and a backup point guard seem to be the biggest needs for the team as currently constructed.
Whom the Lakers could look to add is another question. Bogdan Bogdanovic has been brought up in a potential Kyle Kuzma deal while Darren Collison is apparently looking at a comeback as well. Now a pair of veteran forwards have come up as potential targets for the team as well.
As far as a trade market for Morris, several teams continue to say that the Knicks should be able to get a late first-round pick in return for the veteran forward. The New York Post reported that the Sixers have interest in Morris. Opposing teams expect other contenders like the Clippers and Lakers to feel out the market for Morris as well. The issue for the Knicks will be matching salaries, as Morris is making $15 million this season.
That $15 million salary would be a major obstacle for the Lakers as they just don’t have the contracts to match that due to the no-trade clauses that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, and JaVale McGee have. Additionally, the Lakers don’t have a first-round pick to offer the Knicks either so if that is the price, they could find themselves out of luck.
In addition to the Sixers, Hawks and Lakers, the Celtics and Nuggets have emerged as suitors for Bertans’ services, Per @ChaseHughesNBCS
— Quinton Mayo (@RealQuintonMayo) January 6, 2020
One thing both Bertans and Morris bring are scoring and shooting. Bertans is a career 41.1 percent three-point shooter and is better this year at 43.4 percent on over eight attempts a game while averaging a career-high 15.4 points per game. His $7 million salary is also far more feasible for the Lakers to match than that of Morris.
Morris is having by far the best season of his career, shooting a ridiculous 46.9 percent from three-point range while averaging 19.1 points per game in New York. He is also known as something of an enforcer in the league and would bring a bit of physicality and edge on defense.
Whether the Lakers will be able to bring either over in a trade remains to be seen, but general manager Rob Pelinka is certainly not resting during this deadline as he looks for any way to improve this team.