- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- Ivica Zubac
Coming in with a 10% chance to get traded are two completely different assets to the Lakers. One, a free agent pickup that is expected to make the Lakers better now. The other, a second-round project that could turn into a great center, or simply could find his career purpose on the bench. Regardless, both Caldwell-Pope and Zubac have a similar chance of being dealt.
Signing Caldwell-Pope to a one-year deal and then trading him does not make sense on the surface, I get that. Los Angeles is simply picking him up as a rental talent, and with a massive salary, it will be hard to trade one year of Caldwell-Pope away to a team.
The only reason his chance is 10%, to begin with, is indeed that massive contract. Let’s say Los Angeles does part ways with a young talent to get a significantly better option. The salary of the trade is going to need to match, and what better way than to send an expiring deal. For the trade partners, bringing in KCP would prevent the team from shooting themselves in the foot down the line.
As for Zubac, he certainly is not going to be the focus of any trade. However, like we saw with Ante Zizic in the Kyrie Trade, Zubac could play a small role in a significant deal. Los Angeles certainly can make up the hole Zubac would leave behind, making it much easier to part ways with the second-year center.
While these guys still are not the most likely players to get traded, I would not be surprised to see one of their names in trade talks this season.