Despite having a disappointing season to this point, the Los Angeles Lakers decided not to make any roster upgrades at the trade deadline.
The Lakers did not have any assets at their disposal and while they tried to dangle players like Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and Russell Westbrook, ultimately no deal was able to come to fruition.
This marks the third straight year that the Lakers have not made a trade at the deadline. The previous two though, they were able to find players on the buyout market to add, and now they will try to do so again.
Perhaps the most sought-after player on the buyout market is point guard Goran Dragic, who sat out most of the season and then was traded from the Toronto Raptors to the San Antonio Spurs at the deadline before being bought out.
The Lakers were one of the teams with reported interest in adding Dragic but despite showing interest, he ultimately chose the Brooklyn Nets, per Shams Charania of The Athletic:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 21, 2022
Dragic only played in five games for the Raptors this season but in 50 games for the Miami Heat last year, he averaged 13.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists.
Considering the 35-year-old has hardly played this season, he should bring some fresh legs to the Nets during the home stretch of this season.
One thing the Lakers have lacked this season is a secondary playmaker that can also shoot the 3-ball, which Dragic would’ve helped provide as they look to turn their year around and get back into championship contention.
Given that the Lakers aren’t exactly in championship contention though, it’s not a huge surprise Dragic picked the Nets, where he has a connection with head coach Steve Nash going back to when they played together on the Phoenix Suns.
Now that they haven’t landed Dragic, it will be interesting to see if the Lakers make any moves on the buyout market. If they do then that would require cutting a player to open up a roster spot. The transaction would cost them some money in luxury taxes, which ownership has proven hesitant to do so far this season.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!