Floundering at .500 on the season, the Lakers look to be a team in desperate need of an upgrade at best, and a shakeup to the roster at worst. While injuries have played an unfortunately large part in their struggles this season, not allowing the Lakers to be at full strength at any point, enough faults have shown themselves that it’s clear the Lakers’ current roster is not enough to compete at a high level.
One of the number of problems the Lakers will face heading into the trade deadline, though, is that by going all-in on a deal for Russell Westbrook this summer — paired with the trade for Anthony Davis in the more distant past — the team is devoid of many desirable assets in the trade market. In some order, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and the team’s 2027 first round pick are the only pieces the Lakers could cobble together that have some form of value on the market.
But even in packaging the three assets together, the Lakers are finding it hard to locate suitors. In Kevin O’Connor’s latest piece for The Ringer, he revealed the Lakers have shopped that package around the league and have found no one willing to bite on it yet (emphasis mine):
Having said that, the Lakers, who are sitting at 23-24 and in eighth place in the West, need to shake up this roster. They’re calling teams offering a future first, Kendrick Nunn, and Talen Horton-Tucker, who has underwhelmed this season, and no one is biting yet. Stein says they offered that package to Detroit for Jerami Grant. The Lakers’ problem is THT just isn’t valued highly enough by teams and that 2027 pick is a long time from conveying. Even if the reported Westbrook-for-Wall trade doesn’t happen, it does at least indicate that Houston has interest in exploring a potential trade.
Horton-Tucker’s disappointing season has had many ripple effects for the Lakers. On the court, the team anticipated a leap from Horton-Tucker on both sides of the ball, and that hasn’t happened in any form or fashion. A strong run of games to immediately start his season after coming back from an injury has given way to a far more inconsistent season of few ups and many downs. Off the court, the potential of what he could become has taken a hit and, as a result, so has his trade value.
Similarly, Kendrick Nunn’s inability to even get on the court has both left the Lakers with a hole that they haven’t been able to fill, and (apparently) tanked his trade value as well. His continued setbacks that have delayed his return have also clouded whether he’ll even be available this season.
Add in a first round pick so far in the distant future that knowing its value is a complete gamble and a Lakers trade package that might appear enticing on the surface doesn’t have much depth to it, which NBA teams have obviously noticed.
At the same time, there are still over two weeks left for other names to become available that could be more realistic targets for the Lakers with their aforementioned trade package. A lot of this could be other teams posturing anonymously, trying to get other teams to up their offers. Still, for right now, the Lakers may not be set for a big roster shakeup in the coming weeks, and may instead settle for a smaller deal around the edges.