At this time the last two seasons, the Lakers were at the center of basically every article discussing trade rumors, every podcast throwing out potential deals and every screenshot with a fake trade for anyone of note.
After finally pulling the trigger last year, the Lakers don’t appear ready to repeat that process again. During the offseason, the Lakers opted for the drama-free approach of bringing everyone back.
And while things haven’t gone according to plan yet this season, the Lakers aren’t looking to pull the emergency chute. While they’ve been in some trade rumors, it’s predominantly been connected to Zach LaVine and how much they don’t want to trade for him.
That’s not a mistake. Multiple reports on Monday further indicated the team’s desire to be patient and make things work. On his latest episode of The Lowe Post podcast, Zach Lowe of ESPN was joined by Lakers beat writer Dave McMenamin to talk trades, namely in the form of LaVine and Dejounte Murray.
Ultimately, though, the big takeaway was the team’s desire not to do any trades.
“I thought Brian Windhorst put it very well today...on ESPN.com where he said something to the effect of ‘The Lakers, if they make a trade, it will be kicking and screaming.’ I think that’s accurate. I’ve never got the sense they want to make a trade. I’ve never got the sense they’re particularly excited about the prospect of adding Zach LaVine to their team at whatever cost, adding a third massive salary potentially alongside LeBron and AD. They do like the players they signed in the off-season and re-signed in the offseason. They like the idea of continuity.”
As for that article from Windhorst and what he mentioned about the Lakers, he answered a question in an ESPN article on Monday about which team outside the top six in the standings in the West needed to make a trade and had the following to say:
The Lakers don’t want to have to make a big move, they prefer to retain their depth and the one last first-rounder they’re allowed to trade. They sure don’t want to trade Reaves and his good contract or trade three players for one like they did with Westbrook. They believe in the formula they have, which is a cadre of long defenders supporting future Hall of Famers. Yes, they can’t shoot and it’s a problem. Yes, their defense has fallen off and it’s a problem. But if they end up doing something significant, it will probably be kicking and screaming. Keep that in mind when evaluating your visits to the trade machine.
Effectively, it’s the same messaging from two different people. The Lakers aren’t going to do a drastic shake-up, maybe partly because they’ve already done that so many times in recent years. And also, they clearly believe in this team based on their moves in the offseason and want to see them get a chance, relatively injury-free, to see what they can do.
There are trades around the edges they could make, and perhaps if things get worse a bigger deal, but it surely doesn’t seem like this front office wants to go through another mid-season roster turnover and force the team into a tough position.
At the very least, this current roster is going to be given a chance to prove itself for a little longer before the front office steps in, if necessary.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.