Now that Kyrie Irving has been traded from the Nets to the Mavericks, the Lakers may have to go on as is. Though it’s pretty clear they will try to reshape the roster, at least in some small way, ahead of Thursday’s deadline.
That won’t be so easy, as relayed by Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register.
For one, there doesn’t appear to be any star-level talent available. So the Lakers may have to focus on finding role players along the lines of Spurs small forward Doug McDermott or guard/forward Josh Richardson, Hornets point guard Terry Rozier, or perhaps Jazz power forward Jarred Vanderbilt and shooting guard Malik Beasley.
For the record, the Lakers have been linked to all of the above at one time or another.
And per multiple outlets and again written by Goon, guard Russell Westbrook is the player the Lakers are seemingly dangling most. But with so few teams interested in his large expiring contract, the Spurs, Jazz and others may try to find simpler trades with opponents other than the Lakers, as Goon suggested.
In short, the Lakers appear to be fairly hamstrung at the moment, making GM Rob Pelinka‘s job difficult when it comes to making an impactful move ahead of Thursday’s deadline.
- The Lakers initially offered Westbrook and their first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to the Nets for Irving, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. But the Nets wanted guards Austin Reaves and Max Christie to be included in the deal as well, Charania added.
- As we relayed here, the Lakers have spoken to the Hornets on a Westbrook trade recently. It is not believed the sides are close on anything.
- Several teams have reached out to the Lakers on star forward/center Anthony Davis, sources told Hoops Wire. But the Lakers are quickly shooting down any such talk, sources added.
- The Jazz and Raptors remain “Plan B” for the Lakers, who continue to search for trades “both large and small,” per Jovan Buha of The Athletic. The Hornets, Bulls and Spurs are among those on LA’s radar, Buha added.