The Lakers faced the trade deadline at 3pm eastern Thursday, just like every other team in the league, and they did absolutely nothing. This did not make a lot of Laker fans happy. There is an expectation from Lakers fans that the team will do anything to win. That expectation comes from being a little spoiled as fans, if were being honest here. We always expect a miracle.
The Lakers reputation within the league goes way back. For example, the Mychal Thompson trade in 1987 is rumored to still even make Larry Bird angry when mentioned. The Spurs to this day refuse to trade with the Lakers and Greg Popovich has been vocal about it. They made this bed, and they have to lay in it.
Lakers Found No Willing Trade Partners
At the end of the day the Lakers couldn’t make a deal. They just really didn’t have enough to offer anyone. The only two enticing prospects with enough of a contract to get something in return were in Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn. Unfortunately, THT has been less than stellar this year, and Nunn hasn’t even seen the court since pre-season, thanks to a slow healing bone bruise.
Like the old saying goes “It’s hard to get blood from a stone”. The Lakers really tried hard to make a deal. Multiple rumors and links to other teams popped up all day Thursday. At the end of the day, nothing came to fruition. This wasn’t a surprise to some of us.
Now I do realize I wasn’t 100% right here. The Lakers did trade Rajon Rondo to Cleveland just to free up a roster spot so we could sign Stanley Johnson. It was just obvious from the start of the season that the prospects were slim for any trades.
Blame the Roster Construction
The biggest problem for finding a trade partner this season was the roster construction. When you have three stars taking up the majority of the cap money, it makes it tough to fill out the rest of the roster with anything but minimum contracts. That’s what the Lakers have done, with THT and Nunn being the only two exceptions.
It was a roll of the dice that just didn’t work out. That’s the risk front offices have to take sometimes when they are trying to put together a championship roster. Especially when you try and put together a roster around a big three. The salary cap exists to make things like this hard to pull off. Competitive balance is important in any league.
Time To Circle The Wagons and Sing Kumbaya
With no trade moves, and growing friction between Frank Vogel and Russell Westbrook, the Lakers have very little choice moving forward. It’s time to circle the wagons and sing Kumbaya. Magic, Kareem, Shaq and/or Kobe are not walking through that door. We have to finish this season with what we started. Will Frank and Russ figure it out? Stay tuned and find out.
We do still have the buyout market, and I think what Rob Pelinka should do is buy out Kent Bazemore and DeAndre Jordan to free up two roster spots. Then sign DeMarcus Cousins, because he at least knows how to play with AD. After that take the other roster spot and find someone who can add depth at the wing. That might be enough to get this ship to at least sail a little straighter down the stretch. (crosses fingers)
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