Although there were a lot of rumors floating around heading toward Thursday’s NBA trade deadline involving the Los Angeles Lakers, the storied franchise chose to stand pat once the buzzer sounded at noon.
Moving forward, the real question is how active the team was and whether Rob Pelinka and company came close to parting ways with veteran guard Russell Westbrook.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers indeed did come close to making a deal to send Westbrook back to the Houston Rockets in exchange for John Wall. However, Los Angeles was unwilling to part with a first-round draft pick.
The Houston Rockets offered the Los Angeles Lakers a deal that would have swapped John Wall for Russell Westbrook, but the Lakers declined to include a first-round pick, sources told Yahoo Sports.
With the Westbrook trade ultimately falling through and no other deals coming to fruition for the Purple and Gold, the Lakers will reportedly turn to the buyout market to improve their roster for the final stretch of the 2021-22 campaign, via Haynes.
Now, the Lakers will look to the buyout market, sources said. However, that path also looks dim to bring in a player who could help the Lakers move into title contention.
Unlike in years past during the LeBron James era in Los Angeles, big-name players that could be bought out in the coming weeks might not look in the Lakers’ direction. The team is four games below .500 while being one of the most disappointing teams of the season.
It’s safe to say other title-contending teams will be more attractive for players bought that can help move the needle for a team. However, anything can happen, and a much-needed spark could still be out there for the taking before it gets too late for Los Angeles.