Are swirling trade rumors distracting young Lakers?




  • In Sports
  • 2017-12-26 18:10:24Z
  • By NBC Sports
 

The young Los Angeles Lakers are 3-7 in their last 10 (including a Christmas Day loss to the Timberwolves at home), and in there the team has the 23rd ranked offense in the league, and their usually stout defense has fallen to 19th in that stretch. Part of this is due to the bumps and grinds of the NBA season forcing good players out - both Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram sat on Christmas).

It also may be the trade rumors swirling around the team. With the Lakers looking to clear out two max cap slots headed into next July, the Lakers have tried to trade Luol Deng (but may be giving up on that), and the names of Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle have come up in trade buzz. Basically, anyone but Ball, Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma are available for the right price.

Veteran Andrew Bogut - subject of more than his share of trade rumors over the years - said the other day the rumors could be a distraction for some, speaking to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.

Luke Walton echoed that on Christmas, this time as reported by the Orange County Register.

This is part of being in the league, veteran players have learned to deal with it. However, for young players experiencing the first time their name pops up in trade rumors - which would completely uproot the lives they have established - it is disconcerting and distracting.

It is not just the Lakers, teams such as Philadephia and Minnesota will have to deal with this as well. Handling the rumors is part of being a young team, along with the conditioning wall rookies hit and the countless distractions of the NBA life. It's the players who can focus through it all who stick and succeed in the league. Like Bogut has.

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