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NBA Trade Rumor: Lakers may be targeting Deron Williams

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Tis' the season for NBA trade rumors. With the 2014 NBA Draft drawing near, we're likely to hear more and more rumors being tossed around, many including the highly-valued draft picks in this summer's draft and some big name stars, such as Kevin Love and Brooklyn's own Deron Williams.

According the the Los Angeles Daily News, via the International Business Times, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to trade a first-round draft pick in exchange for a star player, with the lead target being Love and a secondary target being Deron Williams.

They write:

Another target for the Lakers is veteran point guard Deron Williams, who has been subpar for the past two seasons in Brooklyn. Williams, former perennial All-Star, wants to get out from his current situation with the Nets in hope of reviving his career with a championship contender team.

Sports Illustrated reported the Nets could consider putting Williams on the trading block, if the point guard continues to push his request.

As Devin Kharperitan of The Brooklyn Game wrote, there has been no formal request for a trade from Deron Williams, though that doesn't rule out the possibility. Just that, it hasn't been asked for or by Williams.

Again, picks in this summer's draft are highly valuable right now, though things could change once Tuesday night's Lottery is conducted -- it's hard to imagine the Lakers would trade a top-3 pick for Williams, should they win one.

Here's Kharpertian discussing the cap situation in Los Angeles:

Theoretically, it's doable. Williams is owed about $19.8 million next season, and the 2014-15 salary cap is projected at $63.2 million. If the Lakers renounce the rights to Kendall Marshall and their salary exceptions, they'd have roughly $25 million in cap room to play with: they only have Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre, and nine "cap holds" currently on their 2014-15 books.

That would give the Lakers the ability to swallow Williams's contract under the cap without sending any players back in return. The move would also bring the Nets under the luxury tax threshold for 2014-15, even if Kevin Garnett exercises his player option for $12 million.

So, it's "doable," as he notes. But, again, these discussions happen and more times than not lead down a road to nowhere. You'd have to imagine that the Lakers will first test the waters on Love, and depending on where they pick in the 2014 Draft, before taking a shot at Williams.

The other factor here, of course, is that Williams may have surgery on one or both of his ankles this summer. Meaning, would the Lakers take a $63 million gamble on a point guard who's health is uncertain? Probably not. Meaning, this trade rumor is about as long of a long shot as the Nets' chances of winning the Lottery on Tuesday night -- note, they have zero chance of winning the Lottery.

[h/t The Brooklyn Game]