The Los Angeles Lakers is reportedly planning on capitalizing on the Philadelphia 76ers current problem of having too many big men on the team by trading Jordan Clarkson for Jahlil Okafor. But, this will only depend on D'Angelo Russell's performance in the upcoming season.
Last month, 76rs Bryan Colangelo admitted that the team currently has a surplus of players, particularly in the center and forward positions. He also noted that that has been causing an imbalance within the team.
One way to solve this issue is by getting rid of one of their big men and in exchange for a faster and more agile guard. This is where the Lakers can come in.
The Los Angeles organization is rich in its number of reliable guards and their most standout ones are Clarkson and Russell. Trading Clarkson in exchange for Okafor could turn out as a win-win situation for the Lakers and the 76ers, according to Parent Herald.
For one, the 76ers will be able to solve the surplus problem in its roster by backing up their big men with a very skilled and quick shooter. Lakers, on the other hand, will have more presence under the basket through Okafor.
But, according to rumors, this deal will only happen if Russell fails to perform well next season. As reported by the Los Angeles Times last month, Russell has displayed immense progress during the summer league.
But aside from his skills on the court, such as making a three-point buzzer-beater shot, the 20-year-old player also showed how much he has matured by crediting teammates for his success and progress.
The difference that Russell displayed during summer league even led to some sources to label him as the next Kobe Bryant of the Lakers.
If Russell continues on this path, then the Los Angeles franchise might have the leeway to release one of their guards. In exchange, they'll be able to get a center who can significantly improve their defense and offense.
Clarkson, on the other hand, will probably not be fazed by the trade rumors surrounding him and Okafor. He also probably doesn't care about Russell's sudden rise to stardom since he is focused on his own improvement, which was prompted by Bryant's departure.
"It's going to feel different, but at the same time we're beginning our own paths now," he told Hype Beast. "There is definitely going to be something missing with him being gone, even throughout the entire NBA. Everyone is so used to seeing Kobe in that Lakers jersey. It's going to be different but we will get through it."