The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the main players in this year’s trade deadline as they have been incredibly active searching out deals to improve the roster.
Things have heated up in the past couple of days as Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, setting off alarms in the Lakers fan base as the team was expected to pursue him. L.A. ultimately was not able to land the Nets star though with him instead being sent to the Dallas Mavericks.
That doesn’t mean the rumors will stop between now and Thursday’s deadline though as L.A. looks elsewhere for roster upgrades. For players on the current L.A. roster, the trade rumors and noise can be distracting but Darvin Ham says everyone has been focusing on the task at hand, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic:
“I mean, we’ve been playing some great basketball as of late. I just try to keep them focused by not allowing ourselves to get caught up in the fantasy basketball. That’s the reality of it. The other reality of it is just like the 29 other teams, we have to do our due diligence to see how we can get better each and every day. Us as a coaching staff with our prayers, what we’re doing in the moment. Rob and the crew in the front office. Everybody collaborating and trying to see what needs can be filled. If there’s special talents out there that can enhance our chances to get to where we’re trying to get to, then great. But until something is done, it’s all hearsay, it’s all rumor, innuendo. Again, you don’t play fantasy basketball. When it’s real, it’s real. When its’s not, we don’t pay attention to it.”
To Ham’s point, the Lakers had won two games in a row before dropping a crucial game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday. That loss will perhaps just increase the urgency for Los Angeles to get a deal done as they try to climb back up in the standings.
The needs for the Lakers are clear: outside shooting and perimeter defense. Improving those two areas could vault L.A. right back into the playoff mix, though they’ll need to be prudent with how they allocate resources as they’ve only got a limited amount of assets to work with. Hopefully Rob Pelinka and the front office execute the best deal possible and get the purple and gold back on track.
Westbrook remaining professional despite trade rumors
No Laker player has seen their name in more trade rumors over the last year than Russell Westbrook. He shared a similar message as Ham though in that all he can do is stay ready and professional until a deal does or doesn’t come to fruition.
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