Report: Kobe Bryant’s Death Played Role in Lakers’ Quiet Trade Deadline

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

Teams all over the NBA made impactful moves prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, but the Los Angeles Lakers were not one of them.

Though many rumors indicated that the Lakers were looking to make a move, they ended up keeping their pre-deadline roster intact.

According to report from’s Sean Deveney, a major reason why the team’s front office ended up not making a trade was due to the tragic death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

“Through it all, a source said, the Lakers’ pursuit of roster changes in the past week was half-hearted,” Deveney wrote. “And that goes back to the tragic helicopter crash that took the life of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others on January 26, just 11 days ahead of the trade deadline.

“While much of the league has begun to move on from Bryant’s death, these Lakers are just in the early stages of that process. Going through the experience together has bonded them and it proved difficult to break that bond within the roster for the sake of some trade or another.”

A Lakers source told Deveney that after all of the pain and team bonding that the team has gone through since Bryant’s death, it was hard to imagine parting ways with any player.

“There was not a lot of appetite for changing things,” one team source said. “There wasn’t a lot of appetite for telling players they’re going to Minnesota or Atlanta or somewhere, Charlotte, wherever. If there’s an offer you can’t say no to, of course, you’re going to take it. But the idea of breaking things up after what’s happened with Kobe, it wasn’t something anyone seemed to want to do.”

The source’s sentiment is certainly understandable. Still, it was something of a surprise to see the Lakers keep completely quiet as the deadline came and went.

Luckily, the Lakers still have the opportunity to improve their roster.

Anyone they add with likely have a hard time understanding what those currently on the roster have been through.

That being said, the hope is that any player that is added to the team will have an easy time when it comes to strengthening the Lakers’ chances of winning an NBA title this season.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.