With a little less than half of the 2022-23 season remaining, the Los Angeles Lakers are running out of time to make a move and get LeBron James the help he needs to get the team back to the postseason.
The Lakers have been able to compete with the best teams in the league but continually fall short, especially late in games where James seems to run out of gas. A meaningful trade could help Los Angeles balance out the roster and propel them back in the playoff race, something that James has not so subtly expressed should be happening.
So far, the Lakers have seemed intent on finding help via the free agent market as they recently signed Sterling Brown to a 10-day contract. However, after Brown’s deal ended, it looks like Los Angeles will now keep that last roster spot open via Dan Woike of L.A. Times:
Sources say that the Lakers will keep the 15th spot on their roster open for now after Sterling Brown's 10-day contract expired yesterday.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 16, 2023
It’s a bit of a surprise to hear the Lakers are standing pat after they worked out DeMarcus Cousins and Meyers Leonard. Both big men seemed like insurance in the event that Anthony Davis would be forced to miss more time than expected, but everything points to the star being on track to return in the coming weeks.
Brown fit the mold of a player L.A. could use as a bigger wing who could shoot, but he failed to make much of an impact during his brief stint with the team. The Lakers could’ve chosen to chase after another 3-and-D option on the market, but instead seem content with rolling with the players they already have.
Things could change in the coming weeks should something in the trade market materialize, but it’s best to assume they’ll stand pat and continue evaluating their options.
LeBron James frustrated with Lakers inability to close games and officiating
There have been multiple instances where James has given the Lakers a chance to win close games against bonafide playoff teams, but the team has shown their ineptitude to finish the job. Those losses have put Los Angeles in a tight spot as they try to climb back into the postseason race, and James expressed his frustration with that plus the inconsistency in officiating that has also cost the Lakers games.
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