The NBA trade deadline came and went on Thursday and the Los Angeles Lakers ultimately did not make a move despite having a number of roster needs to turn their season around.
The reason for that, according to Rob Pelinka, was that the Lakers were aggressive in their pursuit of a number of players, although they ultimately felt they didn’t need to overpay unless it was a deal that helped the Lakers’ success in both the short and long term.
Pelinka also added that as has often been the case, he consulted with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis ahead of the deadline and they were in agreement to not make any moves.
“You can’t force another team to present yourself with a deal that is going to make your team be better,” Pelinka said. “That’s up to them,” Pelinka said on Thursday. “And throughout this process we had different things we looked at and like I’ve done in the past had conversations with LeBron and Anthony about it and I would say there’s alignment here. And that’s all that matters.”
There are always two sides to every story though, and it appears the James and Davis side of things believe it went down differently. Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported on Friday morning that they did not agree to stand pat at the deadline:
“I am told from a source familiar with LeBron and Anthony’s thinking is that is quote ‘totally false.’ There was no conversation between Rob Pelinka, LeBron and Anthony Davis on Thursday. There was no go-ahead of an OK to have inaction at the deadline. And so where things stand right now, that tells me that there is not just problems with what you’re seeing on the court with the Lakers losing six out of eight, but there’s problems off the court between and alignment as Rob Pelinka termed it and his leaders on this team.”
It makes sense why James and Davis would’ve pushed for moves to be made considering they aren’t getting any younger and wouldn’t want to punt on this season.
Ultimately, if the Lakers wanted to make a deal though it would’ve been trading away Russell Westbrook, who James and Davis advocated them to trade for last offseason, or Talen Horton-Tucker, who shares the same agent in Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.
Lakers players believed team needed trades
Before the deadline, it was reported that Lakers players believed trades were necessary in order for them to get back into championship contention.
While it’s unclear which players felt that way, James and Davis are the leaders of the team so it can be presumed that it was them, and this new McMenamin report would support that.
Either way though, it seems that the players and organization aren’t on the same page right not like they are trying to show themselves to be, which is not good news for a franchise that looks to be spiraling back to mediocrity after winning the championship just 16 months ago.
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!