Rob Pelinka and the Los Angeles Lakers front office have quite the predicament on their hands.
At 14-21, the Lakers continue to fall further out of the playoff picture. A trade seems like the only way to fix their problems, but there aren’t many options on the market that vault them into contenders. Even players they’ve long been linked to like Myles Turner may be off the table as he and the Indiana Pacers reportedly engage on contract extension discussions.
Los Angeles has made ventures for players like Turner and Bojan Bogdanovic but Shams Charania of The Athletic broke down on FanDuel TV why a deal is difficult for them to make because of their limited draft picks:
“The reality and the facts are that the Lakers are going to have to be patient with those two first round picks that they have because those are their only two assets for the rest of the decade. And so, if you’re gonna trade your 2027 first, your 2029 first round picks, those are the only two picks you have the next seven or eight years, you have to be sure about the player you get. Now if you can go get a Bradley Beal, if you can go get a Zach LaVine maybe then you consider it but some of these guys we’ve been talking about over the last month or so– Bojan Bogdanovic, yeah you’ll go get him if you can move a protected first and that’s what they had offered.”
Complicating matters even further is Anthony Davis’ health, where Charania mentions he is not expected to return until at least mid-January:
“But now with Anthony Davis out, we don’t know exactly when he’s gonna be back. He’s definitely gonna be out at least through mid-January. But how does he come back? When does he come back? Is he gonna be anywhere close to what we saw the MVP Anthony Davis? Because that is the type of player where you look at this team and you’re like, ‘Alright, they can maybe do something in the playoffs.’ You have an AD that’s potentially hobbled, that might be on a minutes restriction…you’re just not sure. So until you figure out exactly what AD looks like, it’s tough to make a move where you’re jeopardizing future assets. We saw them do a little bit of a that when they made the Russell Westbrook trade. You traded a future first, you traded Kyle Kuzma. So they’ve been down that well already, and I think now that’s why I think this organization’s gonna be patient.”
Since Davis has been out, Los Angeles has struggled to remain competitive when LeBron James comes off the floor. While it’s good that Davis avoided major injury, his absence over the next few weeks might be the determining factor for the front office to make a move.
Without their star big man, the Lakers are in serious danger of never climbing out of the hole they dug themselves in. Hopefully Davis returns as soon as possible, but it’s hard to imagine the Purple and Gold stringing together wins in the meantime.
LeBron James calls it a no-brainer that Lakers miss Anthony Davis
One person who really needs Davis back is James who has done everything in his power to keep the Lakers competitive. L.A. falls apart whenever James takes a break, so of course the King pointed out the obvious saying that the team misses Davis.
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