Two things are true of the Los Angeles Lakers with less than a month until the NBA trade deadline: they need help and they have very little means to get it. That doesn’t mean they’re not going to try, though.
In fact, according to a report from Fred Katz and Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, the Lakers made an offer for Cam Reddish before the Atlanta Hawks agreed to trade the 22-year-old forward to the New York Knicks on Thursday:
“Recently, The Athletic learned that the Lakers had offered two second-rounders for Reddish. Still, the Hawks believed a team would eventually offer the first-round pick they sought. They asked for Knicks rookie Quentin Grimes, the No. 25 selection during this past summer’s draft, during negotiations, but the Knicks turned them down, sources said.”
The package that the Hawks accepted for Reddish included former No. 9 overall pick Kevin Knox II and a 2022 first-round pick via the Charlotte Hornets. The Lakers could have offered the Hawks a more talented player than Knox, but not one as young as the 22-year-old forward. They also didn’t have an expendable first-round pick like the Knicks did.
The good news is that not landing Reddish doesn’t mean much for the Lakers. As intriguing of a prospect as he may be, he’s still a raw talent and the Lakers aren’t really in a position to give Reddish the playing time he needs to develop into an impactful rotation players. The Hawks weren’t in that position either, which is they moved on from him.
The bad news is that the Lakers’ failure to land Reddish is probably indicative of what’s to come for the team at the trade deadline. While the Lakers may have just enough assets to get opposing general managers to answer the phone, they’re not in a position to get into a bidding war due to their lack of draft capital and tradable salary.
That’s not to say the Lakers won’t make a trade at the deadline, but it’s going to take a lot more than two second-round picks for them to get someone that will really move the needle for them.