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Report: Lakers roster feels they are only ‘couple of players away’ from contention

While the front office is remaining patient, the Lakers locker room feels the team is close to being a contender with just a few players possibly making the difference.

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Los Angeles Lakers v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

The Lakers front office may have a penchant for patience this season, but that doesn’t mean it’s the universal stance taken by the whole franchise. Specifically, when it comes to the Lakers roster, the belief is the team could be close to breaking through.

It’s fair for the players to be optimistic considering their recent run of strong performances with five wins in their last six games, even if three of those came against the Spurs. In the wake of that, Dave McMenamin of ESPN wrote an extensive piece on Monday touching on a number of things, including a nugget about the Lakers roster and their thoughts on a trade.

Would the Lakers’ season be saved by a trade?

Maybe. There is belief shared by leaders in the Lakers’ locker room, sources said, that the team is only a couple of players away from turning this group into a legitimate contender. But acquiring the right players could take multiple trades.

Avoiding the obvious joke of any team is a couple of players away from contending depending on who the players are, the players aren’t wrong here.

For one, there’s been a number of players that have been in the rotation that should not be getting regular minutes. Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn have neither been effective this season, despite being two of the few role players not on minimum deals this season.

In the same vein, the Lakers have had an unbalanced roster all season long as well. The dearth of guards has come at the expense of wings and led the Lakers to some very, very small lineups this year.

The problem is finding a deal that aggregates a number of the Lakers ineffective and excessive players — glaring at you, PatBev and Nunn — and you can swap out Westbrook for more serviceable role players that fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, then you’re in business.

What I’ve just laid out, though is a series of transactions when the Lakers don’t even appear willing to make any trades as we speak. It’s rare for a team to make a series of trades like that, and while the Lakers could, it’s firmly in “believe it when you see it” mode for this front office.

Until then, the Lakers front office will remain patient and the Lakers roster will look to continue winning with a flawed roster.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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