With the Lakers fast approaching the trade deadline, they have yet to make any moves.
The team went 4-2 on a road trip where players who were rumored to be on the trading block, like D’Angelo Russell, played exceptionally well.
With the Lakers now two games above .500, on a three-game winning streak, and no blockbuster trade on the horizon, Jovan Buha of The Atheltic suggests that the Lakers might be looking at a smaller move instead of a big roster-changing acquisition.
Otherwise, the Lakers will likely make a move along the margins, possibly shedding some salary in the process, and then work the buyout market for a player or two.
So if the Lakers will be looking to get off some money and players not making a big enough impact, who could that be?
The first player the Lakers should consider moving is Gabe Vincent. He’s making $10.5 million this season but has only played in five games. He has been injured most of the season, and although he is on track to return in March, that’s likely too little, too late for Los Angeles.
Jaxson Hayes has had his best week ever as a Lakers with multiple 10-plus point performances, giving the team some much-needed energy. However, for most of the season, Hayes and his $2.1 million dollar contract have been glued to the bench due to his defensive struggles and the fact that offensively, he’s a nice lob threat but not much else.
Is he likely to have his best week every week, or was this just a good stretch of games? It might be wise to move him now that his stock is high.
A move along the margins might not rock the NBA world or make fans feel like the team is inching closer toward contending, but a small move is better than a bad one.
The Lakers cannot afford to panic and give away a valuable starting guard like D’Angelo Russell or their 2029 first-round pick in a deal just to say they did something. Let’s not confuse activity for progress. Sometimes, the best move you can make is no move at all.
Talks with the Atlanta Hawks appear to have stalled, with a landing spot for Russell and draft picks being the sticking points, so if a deal for DeJounte Murray is not possible, shedding some salary to help clear the books might be the best course of action for the Lakers this deadline.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.