Despite the apparent need to improve their overall roster, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly considering the idea of staying with the players currently on the team.
Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times indicated that unless there’s a deal that makes the Lakers serious postseason contenders, the team will likely stand pat.
“Internally, sources said, there’s been serious consideration given to riding out the season without making a major deal if they can’t find one that would make the team a realistic contender,” Woike wrote.
One of the chief reasons why making a deal has been so difficult is because of the lack of future draft capital. A good portion of that went into the 2019 deal to acquire Anthony Davis.
That blockbuster trade paid immediate dividends when Davis played a key role in helping the Lakers win the 2020 NBA title. However, continuing injuries to Davis have meant struggles for the Lakers.
The Lakers do have a pair of future first-round picks that they could deal if they were so inclined. However, efforts by potential trade partners to acquire those picks have been stymied by the Lakers’ apparent reluctance to give them up.
After Wednesday night’s loss to the Miami Heat, the Lakers have a 14-21 record for the season. In the highly competitive Western Conference, that means they have the third-worst record among conference teams.
Even to reach the team that currently sits at the No. 10 seed in the West, the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers would have to pick up 3.5 games. However, that would only put them in a position to compete in the play-in portion and wouldn’t even guarantee a playoff berth.
Then, even if the Lakers do manage to reach the postseason, the team would still face an arduous climb through four rounds of playoffs.
That effort isn’t likely to happen, even if they do make a major deal. That’s because Davis is again sidelined by injury and won’t return to the Lakers’ lineup until the middle of next month at the earliest.
The apparent strategy of the Lakers to simply forge ahead and hope for the best over the rest of the season likely won’t please the team’s fan base. Yet, at this point, their options appear to be severely limited.