As the trade deadline is approaches, there are already rumors swirling around the Los Angeles Lakers. This is no big surprise as it seems every year the Lakers seem to find themselves tied in with certain players in order to better the team. The NBA trade deadline is on Feb. 7 and with LeBron James and now Lonzo Ball out, the Lakers are on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. As it currently stands, the Lakers are in the 9th spot in the Western Conference tied with Sacramento with 25 wins and 24 losses.
It comes as no surprise how the Lakers have struggled without LeBron James. The young core without him have looked exactly what we’d thought they would be…a young core. Everyone often forgets and need to realize that Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart are only in their 2nd year in the league. Expectations are high for this kids and it’s almost unfair. Brandon Ingram, who’s been in the league for 3 years now has received most of the criticism. The former 2nd pick in the NBA draft, has shown flashes of how good he can be, but has been disappointing at times with some inconsistencies. Especially the way hit fits beside LeBron. But, is it time for the Lakers to quicken the process? The Lakers were assembled with a bunch of play makers on the team. The problem is they’re not shooters and the lack of perimeter and 3-point shooting on the team is a major weakness. I don’t expect the Lakers to make much noise as the trade deadline approaches, but it wouldn’t hurt to add an perimeter shooter.
According to Kurt Helin of Yahoo Sports:
“There almost certainly are going to be no blockbusters at this trade deadline. For the Lakers, Anthony Davis would be the primary target, but as I have reported before from sources (as have numerous others, plus the direct statements of coach Alvin Gentry) the Pelicans have zero intention of trading Davis at the deadline. They are actively trying to add players to entice and keep Davis as a free agent. Even if Davis requested a trade — and he has not done so, nor is he expected to — it would not happen until this summer (New Orleans would want Boston and other teams in on the bidding process). Along those same lines, the Raptors are not trading Kawhi Leonard. Players such as Mike Conley(making more than $30 million a season for the next two seasons after this) are not worth the price the Lakers would have to pay.
Shooting, however, makes sense. Especially once LeBron returns, his gravity draws defenders in, and his passes find open shooters.
It’s hard to imagine any team willing to part with their star to get back some talented young players from the Lakers. You never get equal value back, but players like Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma could end up being really good. The Lakers do need some perimeter help as they’ve struggled with the outside shot all season. A name that has come up in rumors is Carmelo Anthony. Although I believe Anthony can still play and still has something left in him, would he really make the Lakers that much better? Probably not, but some minutes off the bench certainly wouldn’t hurt. The only question is, would he be willing to just accept a bench role with limited minutes?
The Lakers were doing well for themselves before James got injured. Unless the Lakers get Anthony Davis or another star in some blockbuster deal, which is highly unlikely, the front office should just stick with what they have for now. A small acquisition for a shooter is the only sensible move. They have this summer to go after key free agents such as Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker just to name a few. The Lakers just need everyone back healthy to make a playoff push and we’ll just wait and see what happens from there.