It’s no secret that the start of the 2021-22 season hasn’t gone as well as planned for the Los Angeles Lakers. Even though they’ve played better as of late, overall the Lakers sit at 15-13 and have failed to string wins together the way championship-caliber teams do.
While all is not lost on this season, the Lakers will have some tough decisions to make ahead of the trade deadline. It’s fair to assume the Lakers will look to make a move, although that won’t be so easy given their lack of assets and tradeable salaries.
Additionally, the Lakers have not played a single game at full strength this season so it is hard to say exactly what they have and what they need.
Wing defenders who can also knock down shots seem to be the biggest need for the Lakers though, especially with them committing to playing more small-ball in recent weeks.
Perhaps the best player who fits that description that may be available ahead of the deadline is Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons. Because of that, it comes as no surprise that Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that the Lakers are among the teams with interest:
Jerami Grant is one of the most sought-after players in a potential trade, with the Lakers and Trail Blazers among the teams pursuing the Pistons’ versatile forward, sources said. Grant will miss extended time with torn ligaments in his right thumb, but that is not expected to impact his trade market. Dozens of teams call the Detroit front office about Grant each week, and sources said the team is open to a possible deal.
Grant has one year remaining on his contract so if the Lakers trade for him they will have to keep in mind that he will be eligible for a four-year extension worth up to $112 million in the offseason.
Given the Lakers’ lack of assets, it will be interesting to see if they are even able to put together a package good enough to acquire Grant. Talks would likely start with Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, another minimum salary and draft compensation.
If the Lakers are able to get a deal done with that type of package then that’s definitely something worth considering as Grant would help solve a lot of the team’s biggest issues.
Lakers also interested in Simmons
Charania is also reporting that the Lakers have interest in acquiring Ben Simmons, which would talk more salary and assets to do.
While it remains to be seen if either of these players are realistic for L.A. ahead of the deadline, it is clear that Rob Pelinka is doing his due diligence to try to upgrade the roster.
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