At the moment I am typing this, we are 3 hours away from the NBA trade deadline. While there are Lakers rumors swirling, there is little substantive activity to report on.
In the past couple of weeks, the Lakers have reportedly shown interest in Derrick Rose, Marcus Morris, Markief Morris, Dennis Schroeder, and Spencer Dinwiddie. As you can see, there’s a theme among those names: point guards/playmakers and stretch PF’s/big wings. These really are the Lakers two biggest needs so it makes sense they’d at least do their due diligence on what it might take to acquire a player who is good enough to help them this season.
For Silver Screen and Roll, I wrote that the Lakers should not trade Kyle Kuzma. I stand by that and believe that, due to all the factors I laid out in that post, it’s better to keep him through the deadline. This summer might be a different story, but that’s… another post for another time.
I’m also skeptical the Lakers make a move at all. The reasons for that are twofold.
First, a trade on the margins could be useful, but that type of trade likely isn’t going to pay many dividends in the post season. Second, the Lakers, for all their holes — and, yes, they do have holes — are a fantastic regular season team that has steamrolled teams under .500 so far. Add it all up and the Lakers would either need to make a bigger move that really changed their postseason trajectory or not make a move at all.
Considering what it would take to make a trade that moved the needle in the hunt for a championship, I just don’t see anything happening. The chemistry on this team is too good and the salaries needed to make a trade for a big piece work likely mean trading away too much depth or too valuable a player to the team’s current success (or both). So, I envision the Lakers working the phones, seeing if they can find a strong upgrade at a low price and, if (when?) that doesn’t happen, they just stand pat.
Of course, I could be wrong. There’s always surprises before 3pm Eastern on trade deadline day. We’ll see. The clock is ticking. More updates later should something go down.