Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak had said in several interviews through the season that the team was not looking to make any moves prior to the trade deadline, but as the NBA business goes, stranger things have happened.
If Los Angeles does make a run for Noel, the Sixers likely won’t be getting any of the young players the Lakers have on their roster. They refuse to include D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram or Julius Randle in any trade talks, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News.
“According to league sources, the Lakers have not included any of the three into trade discussions, and do not figure to change that,” wrote Deveney.
While Nance and Clarkson don’t have as high a ceiling as the first three aforementioned, they’ve proven themselves valuable assets — Clarkson with a great scoring punch and Nance with tenacious rebounding and intangibles.
The Lakers are playing the wait-and-see game, rather than aggressively pursuing players. If the right opportunity comes along, they’ll be sure to take it, but don’t expect them to go all out on Noel or any other player while the team is in a rebuilding phase with a new coach in Luke Walton.