Lakers Rumors: Speed & Athleticism Are Priorities At NBA Trade Deadline
Darvin Ham, Rob Pelinka Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the process of figuring out a plan for the NBA trade deadline on February 8 as it quickly approaches. After a skid that saw them lose six out of eight games, the Lakers have to determine exactly how they want to approach upgrading their roster within the next six weeks.

They could bet on internal improvement as they get healthy and solidify rotations. The Lakers are certainly a talented enough team to make noise in the playoffs, provided they have health. However, the recent skid has brought attention to some flaws in the roster and the types of players that would improve things.

Several potential trade targets have already become the subject of rumors, as it always goes with the Lakers. And while the Lakers have not yet committed to a direction with trades, they reportedly know the skillsets they are looking for, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

“Speed and athleticism are certainly a priority.”

The Lakers, as it currently stands, have a little bit of athleticism in the likes of Jarred Vanderbilt and Cam Reddish. They also have some speed as evidenced by the fact that the Lakers rank No. 9 in the NBA in pace. However, a quick look at the Lakers roster would say that speed and athleticism are reasonable things to target.

L.A.’s guard rotation of D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, the injured Gabe Vincent, and Reddish are not particularly fast or athletic as a whole. Vincent, in theory, fits the description but has not been healthy enough to get on the floor let alone be a game changer and is poised to miss extended time after undergoing left knee surgery.

It’s why the Lakers have reportedly been connected to Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks. Murray is both quick and athletic, and while he is not a perfect fit, Murray does represent an area of needed improvement for L.A.

Taurean Prince providing 3-point shooting for Lakers

One role player that has been excelling recently is Taurean Prince. Finding a shooting rhythm has lent to improved results that were much-needed for the Lakers.

“Just being available for those guys that we run the offense through, I think that’s the main thing,” Prince said explained. “Trying to stay consistent as someone that they can rely on. Then holding myself to the standards that I hold myself to.

“I think that combined is why I’m in a good place right now and then obviously my teammates coming in just stressing me to continue to have that mentality of catching and shooting. With all those factors involved, it’s kind of hard not to feel free and play how you want to to be able to do your job at the highest level when you got everybody backing you.”

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