LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Despite weeks of swirling rumors, the NBA trade deadline came and went Thursday without the L.A. Lakers acquiring superstar forward Anthony Davis, while the Clippers positioned themselves to be a player in what could be an active offseason.
The biggest trade Thursday out of L.A. came with the Clippers sending starting shooting guard Avery Bradley to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green in a salary-cap move, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
The Clippers and Lakers conducted an inter-city swap, with the Clippers sending Mike Muscala – just acquired Wednesday in the blockbuster trade that sent Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers – to the Lakers in exchange for forward Michael Beasley and young center Ivica Zubac, according to Wojnarowski.
The Clippers will also be waving center Marcin Gortat, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports, to make way for Zubac.
Both Temple and Green are on expiring deals, allowing the Clippers to clear away even more cap space in preparation for the big free agent summer of 2019 when the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant could be available.
Meanwhile, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson cannot help but be disappointed by the team’s inability to snag Davis. There have been ongoing reports of turmoil between head coach Luke Walton, star LeBron James and the younger players, partly brought on by the trade rumors. The New Orleans Pelicans rejected a Lakers offer that included a haul of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and two first-round picks.
The team will have to set that all aside as it makes a push for a playoff spot. The Lakers currently sit in 10th place in the very competitive Western Conference. They face the Boston Celtics on the road Thursday night.