From Chad Ford
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Assets: Derek Fisher's expiring contract; Adam Morrison's expiring contract
L.A. has been hesitant in years past to make a trade-deadline deal. Lakers coach Phil Jackson's offense isn't easy to pick up on the fly and the team has preferred to make moves in the summer. Yes, the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol two years ago, but that deal was a no-brainer.
The Lakers' point guard play of late has raised concerns. Derek Fisher has lost another step, especially defensively. Jordan Farmar has been solid, but the Lakers believe they may need more than "solid" to get past teams like the Nuggets and Mavs.
If the Lakers want to get a point guard, they face two big issues:
First, there aren't a lot of great point guards available right now. The Bulls' Kirk Hinrich has been the name most associated with the Lakers, and the team has explored smaller deals, such as one for the Pacers' Earl Watson.
Second, a deal could be very costly. The Lakers already have the highest payroll in the league and would prefer to avoid adding more long-term commitments.
Here's one potential solution: The word out of the All-Star Game late Sunday had the Lakers recruiting the Portland Trail Blazers as a third team in trade talks with the Bulls. According to one source familiar with the discussions, the Lakers would get Hinrich, the Bulls would get Adam Morrison, Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw and Juwan Howard, and the Blazers would land Tyrus Thomas and Sasha Vujacic. Such a deal would lessen the amount of money the Lakers would be adding to their payroll next season.