June 13, 2024

The Lakers are making sure they don’t panic as the NBA trade deadline is in a few hours.

As the trade deadline on Thursday approaches, the Lakers, and particularly general manager and vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka, have been busy talking with clubs about possible transactions.

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The deal involving D’Angelo Russell and Dejounte Murray appears to be the most talked about, but with Jarred Vanderbilt’s foot injury, discussions about a 3-and-D wing to cover for him until his next evaluation in three to four weeks have taken center stage.

However, as of now, the only roster moves made by the Lakers this season have been the signing of two-way contracts for Dylan Windler and Skylar Mays. So far, it’s all been chatter and speculation.

How probable is a trade to occur? Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN says that’s probably not all that likely.

Russell seems to have maneuvered his way out of the trade negotiations. In the grand scheme of things, the Lakers are two games ahead.Three and a half games behind the No. 6 seed, at 500. The Lakers can make some moves to get better, but it is difficult to see one that will propel them to the top of the Western Conference.

Maybe they will be a formidable team close to the bottom part of the West if they can only get Gabe Vincent back and Vanderbilt healthy later in the season.

It’s critical to keep in mind that this core accomplished just that last year. They defeated the Grizzlies and Warriors on the road and won their play-in game.

Pelinka’s work is not an easy one. LeBron James has given ambiguous messages and has a player option for the upcoming season, meaning he can depart in the summer. He needs to demonstrate that he is working hard to fix things.

It’s important to act in the team’s best interests in the long run, but you also don’t want to act merely to appear as though you tried and ruin your chances later on. It’s not all on Pelinka and the Lakers, either, as deals often involve two or even three teams.

We’ll see if a deal is eventually completed or if this will just be a discussion. In the summer, when the Lakers have additional draft picks available, we’ll revisit this.

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