With the league completing deals all around them, it seems to becoming more and more clear that the Lakers’ plan for the NBA trade deadline is to sit this one out. That is exactly the report from Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report an hour before the deadline as the Lakers’ focus has shifted to the summer.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN also backed up that reporting shortly thereafter.
The probable path for Los Angeles Lakers is standing pat at trade deadline with potential to acquire another star player in the offseason when armed with three first-round picks, league sources tell @NBAonTNT, @BleacherReport.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 8, 2024
With one hour to go until the trade deadline, I’m hearing there’s been nothing close to a deal for the Lakers so far this morning.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 8, 2024
The Lakers have moved further and further into the background of the deadline after being near the center of it for a while with reports on both Zach LaVine and Dejounte Murray. However, the team seemingly turning a corner on the court and discussions never advancing off of it, the focus has shifted past Thursday’s deadline and into the summer.
Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports had similar reporting late Wednesday night when discussing a potential Bruce Brown-to-Utah trade.
“If there’s ultimately a deal with Utah that would be one data point that would further suggest the mounting noise around the league that the Lakers aren’t expected to pursue a major upgrade before the deadline.”
This isn’t all that surprising as the trend this week has been the Lakers growing perhaps more patient and content with what they have. The recent strong road trip and the improved play of D’Angelo Russell over the last month certainly played into the decision-making of the Lakers front office and vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka.
Is it too much recency bias? Or is it a team finding their form after underperforming for most of the season?
The summer has grown more and more appealing to the Lakers when they’ll have three draft picks available and a whole lot more players to go after. The previous names mentioned have been Donovan Mitchell and Trae Young but with three draft picks and a whole host of tradeable contracts, there aren’t many players the Lakers couldn’t target.
And what are the Lakers at their core than a franchise that loves chasing star players, even to their own detriment?
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.