While the Los Angeles Lakers likely aren’t quite as bad as they were to start the season, it is clear that the roster built around LeBron James and Anthony Davis is not one that can compete for a championship. As such, many are anticipating the Lakers to make a big trade involving Russell Westbrook and future draft picks.
That trade has yet to materialize as the Lakers have maintained that they will not part with both their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks if they are not getting a star in return. And if recent reports are to be believed, the franchise is looking towards a future date when more trades could potentially open up.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin made an appearance on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast and said that the franchise believes it is realistic for the Lakers to play .500 basketball until Dec. 15 when players who signed this summer are eligible to be traded and thus perhaps more options will open up:
“What they feel is realistic is playing .500 ball until December 15 when deals start to potentially open around the league because that’s when contracts that were signed this past summer can be traded. And then maybe you can finally make this mythical draft-pick trade that’s been talked about for months and months and months sometime in late December to mid-January and have that be an additional thrust to the type of basketball you’ve already been doing, you’ve already established.”
This makes a lot of sense for the Lakers as more players being eligible means more possibilities of making that trade the franchise has been looking for since the summer. The needs of the team are pretty apparent as more shooting, a big wing and possibly another big man as an option next to Davis would all help the Lakers immensely.
The question is whether the team can remain competitive until that deal materializes and they have a roster more capable of competing. The recent play of Anthony Davis and the impending return of LeBron James would certainly make it seem possible that the Lakers can string some wins together.
The parity of the Western Conference also helps as even though the Lakers are just 5-11, they are a mere five wins behind the Phoenix Suns who are at the top of the conference. So if the Lakers are able to hover around .500, they could be right in the thick of things in the West when that necessary trade comes through to hopefully turn things around.
Patrick Beverley suspended 3 games for shoving DeAndre Ayton
If the Lakers are to go on a bit of a win streak, they will have to do so without one of their emotional leaders as Patrick Beverley has been suspended for three games for his actions against the Suns when he shoved DeAndre Ayton after the big man stood over Lakers guard Austin Reaves.
While Beverley defended his actions and Reaves was thankful for what he did, the prior history of the Lakers guard contributed in a harsher than expected suspension.
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