Report: Lakers weighed trading Taurean Prince, but Darvin Ham was vocal about retaining him

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers allegedly explored dealing forward Taurean Prince prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, but the team’s head coach in Darvin Ham was in favor of keeping him around.

“With limited interest in their players with multiple years left on their contracts, one option the Lakers weighed was trading Taurean Prince, who is making $4.5 million on an expiring contract,” Jovan Buha wrote. “However, head coach Darvin Ham was one of the vocal supporters of retaining Prince, according to team sources.”

Prince has played for five teams — the Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets, Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers — during his eight seasons in the NBA so far. In his first season as a member of the Lakers, he has been a consistent presence in the team’s regular rotation.

He has accumulated 47 starts with Los Angeles so far during the 2023-24 regular season and is averaging 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game on 43.8 percent shooting from the field and 38.9 percent from 3-point range.

Prince put together an impressive game in the Lakers’ loss to the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 8. He totaled 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor and 2-of-3 from deep to go along with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block.

A couple of days earlier, in the Lakers’ victory over the New York Knicks on Feb. 3, Prince arguably played even better. He scored 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and also contributed two rebounds, two assists and one block.

Prince deserves part of the credit for why the Lakers have managed to pick up wins in three of their last four games. He reached double digits in scoring in two of Los Angeles’ wins during that span, with the one exception being when he managed to score just nine points in the team’s win over the Charlotte Hornets back on Feb. 5.

Considering that Prince has provided some two-way production as a member of the team’s rotation, Ham might’ve been in the right when he advocated for the Lakers to keep Prince past the trade deadline on Feb. 8.

Prince will try to carry over his performance against the Nuggets on Thursday when the Lakers host the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. After playing the Pelicans, Los Angeles will have a few days off before it hosts the Detroit Pistons on Feb. 13.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.