The Los Angeles Lakers came into this season hoping to be championship contenders, but to this point, they have been anything but that.
After a rough loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night, the Lakers currently sit at 26-30, the lowest they’ve been below .500 this season.
If the Lakers want to get back into championship contention, one thing that is for sure is the Lakers will have to make a trade, or multiple, before Thursday’s deadline.
Reports have indicated they would like to trade Russell Westbrook, although that won’t be easy given his contract and recent poor play.
There have been some rumors that they’ve talked to teams like the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks on a Westbrook trade but with just a couple of hours until the deadline, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that those conversations are no longer taking place, via Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News:
Woj: "The Lakers right now don't have any ongoing discussions on a Russell Westbrook trade."
— Kristian Winfield #NFTAllStar (@Krisplashed) February 10, 2022
The only Westbrook trade that would make some sense is a swap with Houston for John Wall, although the Rockets were reportedly holding out hope the Lakers would add their 2027 first-round pick to the deal.
L.A. reportedly isn’t willing to do that though, so in all likelihood, Westbrook will remain with the team past the 12 p.m. PT deadline on Thursday.
James feels trade deadline was ‘weighing’ on Lakers
As far as why the Lakers have played so poorly as of late, LeBron James feels the trade deadline and rumors surrounding the team have played a part in it.
“Obviously it’s something that’s weighing on this group that we’re trying to all get through,” James said after the loss to Portland. “Almost feels like it’s like fog, just fog in the air and we’re trying to see what’s on the other side of it. I obviously take today, take tomorrow like any other day and if something changes, then I’ll approach it.
“But I’m literally just tired as hell right now. I just want to get some wine and get into bed and wake up tomorrow and feel good about what tomorrow has in store and we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens as far as the deadline, but other than that I’m kind of just focused on what we can do to be better.”
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