© Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY SportsHassan Whiteside has been in and out of the Sacramento Kings' rotation thus far in his first season in California's capital city.
Los Angeles Lakers rumors will continue to pick up in the month leading up to the NBA trade deadline regarding potential veteran additions for the defending champions. That was magnified earlier this week when Los Angeles waived veteran guard Quinn Cook, creating a roster spot.
All of this comes at a time when the Houston Rockets are slated to release former Lakers center, All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, in the coming days.
There's obviously a link between the two despite the fact that Cousins did not play a single game in his only season with the Lakers due to a torn ACL. Could a reunion be in the cards? Not so fast.
"There are no immediate plans to fill Cook's roster spot, and multiple people with knowledge of the situation said they don't expect the Lakers to reunite with Houston center DeMarcus Cousins if he becomes available as expected," the Los Angeles Times reported. "The team will, however, monitor the buyout and trade markets for potential additions to their frontcourt."
In the midst of a three-game losing streak and with All-Star big man Anthony Davis sidelined by injury, Lakers rumors had hinted in the direction of a move for a veteran. The release of Cook added another layer to this.
However, general manager Rob Pelinka wants to keep his options open with that roster spot. Young Orlando Magic big man Mo Bamba has been among those bandied about as a potential trade target for the Lakers. As for the buyout market, there's a darn good chance Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin could become available.
"Sacramento center Hassan Whiteside, who is averaging 8.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots in 14-1/2 minutes per game, is a possible target the team could pursue," the very same LA Times report noted.
Whiteside, 31, has been in and out of the Sacramento Kings' rotation thus far in his first season in California's capital city. He's playing under a mere one-year, $2.3 million contract after averaging 15.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and a league-leading 2.9 blocks for the Portland Trail Blazers a season ago.
While Whiteside has proven to be vastly overrated and finds himself as a one-dimensional figure, he would certainly be an upgrade over Marc Gasol in Los Angeles.
Before Davis' Achilles injury, the Lakers were riding high. They won 21 of 27 to open the season. However, the big man being sidelined has opened up a can of worms in Southern California.
Particularly in the frontcourt, depth could be an issue leading into the postseason. That's especially true with Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz dominating as well as the presence of Nikola Jokic in Denver and Deandre Ayton's breakout season with the surprising Phoenix Suns.
Expect the Lakers to scour both the buyout and trade markets ahead of the March 25 NBA trade deadline. Just don't look for Cousins to rejoin the Lakers. That no longer appears to be a possibility.
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