The Lakers will be patient about assessing potential trades, team sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Numerous injuries have made it difficult to evaluate the current roster, so the front office will continue to study the type of moves that need to be made and wait to see what opportunities might develop if teams such as the Raptors, Wizards, Jazz, Nets or Hornets decide to have a “fire sale” before the February deadline, according to Buha.
December 15 marks the unofficial start of trade season as most of the free agents who signed this summer will become eligible to be moved. For L.A., that list includes D’Angelo Russell, Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish, Christian Wood and Jaxson Hayes. Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves will become trade-eligible a month later.
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- Finding the best role for Reaves should be one of coach Darvin Ham‘s priorities for the rest of the season, Buha states in the same story. Reaves began the season as a starter, but he has put up better stats since being moved to a sixth-man role. Buha says the early-season slump could have been caused by fatigue from playing for Team USA in the World Cup or it could have been a result of adapting to more minutes at point guard. Regardless, Ham will eventually have to settle on a fifth starter from a group that includes Reaves, Prince, Reddish and Max Christie.
- Meeting with reporters before tonight’s game, Ham confirmed that Jarred Vanderbilt will make his season debut after missing 20 games with bursitis in his left heel, Buha tweets. Hachimura has been medically cleared after missing the past four games following surgery for a nasal fracture, but Ham said “it’s more of a touch-and-feel thing with Rui” regarding how much he will play.
- Vincent has only appeared in four games because of a left knee effusion, but he’s getting closer to a return, Ham added, saying that he’s lifting weights, shooting and running on an anti-gravity treadmill (Twitter link). “He’s progressing along,” Ham said. “Not as of yet, but he’s progressing really, really good.”