Thursday’s NBA trade deadline was one of the most active ever, although one team that was watching from the outside was the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers have disappointed to this point in the season, currently sitting at 26-30, although the hope was that they would be able to make some moves at the deadline to upgrade their roster.
Given the Lakers’ lack of tradeable contracts and assets though, no deal ultimately came to fruition for the Lakers, who now must turn things around with the players they have.
Speaking shortly after the deadline, Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka explained why he didn’t make a move, via Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:
“We were aggressive in a lot of conversations trying to improve the team – we always want to put this team in the best position to win a championship,” L.A.’s VP of Basketball Ops said on a conference call. “But ultimately we didn’t find a deal that had a net positive effect for the short term success of the team and the long term, and those are both things we consider.”
Pelinka went on to add that the Lakers’ goal is to win a championship and he feels the Lakers still have time to turn things around to make that happen with the players they have:
“It’s important to remember that the metric of success here is, you win a championship or we don’t,” Pelinka explained. “There’s no middle ground. We have to be on a pathway to put this team in a position to try and compete for and win championships. That takes the support of one another, and I know that’s going on internally despite what others might say.
“When it comes to finding success when a team is not winning, I think the most important action is for everyone to look in the mirror and be better. That includes the front office, it includes the coaches, it includes the players.”
As they say, it takes two to tango, and the fact of the matter is that the Lakers didn’t really have anything to offer at the trade deadline that other teams had interest in.
Lakers hoping to find buyout additions
Just because they didn’t make a trade doesn’t mean there aren’t moves to be had for the Lakers though as they will now shift their focus to the buyout market.
The Lakers have added players like Andre Drummond, Ben McLemore, Markieff Morris and Dion Waiters after buyouts in recent years, and now Pelinka will try to work his magic to lure some more talented players to L.A.
If the Lakers do find a player on the buyout market though then they will have to cut one of their current players since their roster is full, which will cost them around $7 million in luxury taxes.
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