After plenty of rumors in the months and weeks prior to the trade deadline, the Lakers ultimately did not make a deal before noon Pacific on Thursday, opting to instead keep their roster intact as is.
The trade deadline came and went and the Lakers stood pat without a deal, sources told ESPN.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 8, 2024
This has been how things have been trending over the last week and isn’t much of a surprise, ultimately. A strong run from D’Angelo Russell and a successful Grammy trip were likely the final pieces that swayed the Lakers to hold firm, as Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported in the final 90 minutes before the trade deadline.
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 name mentioned most heavily in recent talks was Dejounte Murray with the Hawks. At the start of January, the talks felt most serious and as close as they ever were to a deal being done.
That, however, coincided with D’Lo turning things around and playing his best basketball with the Lakers at the very least. Ultimately, the talks died down with the Lakers less willing to part with D’Lo.
The Atlanta Hawks are keeping guard Dejounte Murray, sources tell ESPN. No trade for him.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2024
The team also chased Bruce Brown since last offseason and inquired about him with the Raptors. However, with a huge contract, D’Lo’s strong play also probably changed the likelihood off that trade and Brown remained with his team as well.
The Toronto Raptors are keeping Bruce Brown Jr., sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2024
The Lakers still have an open roster spot and will be a serious contender for any notable buyout candidates. But that’s going to be the only avenue, aside from players like Gabe Vincent and Jarred Vanderbilt returning from injury, for this team to improve with player acquisitions.
All eyes in that regard, now, are going to shift to the offseason when the Lakers will have multiple draft picks and tradeable contracts to potentially make a much bigger splash than just Brown or Murray. Notably, though, both Murray and Brown will be under contract for the same teams next season, meaning talks for both could, and likely will, reignite.
For better or for worse, the Lakers did not mortgage their future at all for this roster, either a sign of belief that they can still compete or the upgrades weren’t enough to turn this team into a legitimate contender.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.