On Tuesday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that LeBron James will miss Wednesday’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers as well as potentially a “few” more games due to irritation in his left knee.
For the Lakers, the severity of James’ knee injury and his upcoming absence come at a critical juncture of the season, as the team not only continues to slip in the standings, but will have decisions to make with the trade deadline looming in the near distance.
Currently sitting in ninth-place in the Western Conference, and with only 31 games left in the season, the Lakers will likely be among the most aggressive buyers come the Feb. 10 deadline. The question, however, remains about what caliber of player their current assets could realistically net in return, and if a hypothetical move is even worth pushing in the remainder of their chips for and instead focus entirely on getting healthy.
The likes of Talen Horton-Tucker and their 2027 first-round pick will likely not prevent the team from pulling the trigger on any move that can turn their fortunes around, especially for a club with a limited shelf-life, but at some point the cupboard will assuringly need to be preserved.
On today’s edition of Talk-O-Tuesday, our hosts Alex Padilla and Alex Regla discussed James’ injury, how the Lakers can look to win games in the short-term, and then gave a brief playoff outlook.
Later, the duo then debated whether or not the calculus has changed enough recently for the team to reconsider going all-in at the trade deadline.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.