Report: Lakers leaders in locker room believe team is ‘couple of players away’ from being legitimate contender

David Akerman
3 Min Read

After starting out with a miserable 2-10 record, the Los Angeles Lakers have really picked things up lately.

They’re 5-1 in their last six games and currently just two games back of the last play-in tournament spot. It seems like things are really starting to click for the squad.

Despite that, many still believe that the Lakers need to change some things up in order to really be considered title contenders. It seems like leaders in the team’s locker room share that feeling.

“There is belief shared by leaders in the Lakers’ locker room, sources said, that the team is only a couple of players away from turning this group into a legitimate contender,” wrote ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “But acquiring the right players could take multiple trades.”

The Lakers have been linked to Buddy Hield and Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers for months now. Plenty of people around the league believe the storied franchise needs to acquire those two players in order to have any chance of competing for a title this season.

Something to note, though, is that Lakers staff members reportedly are not sold on Hield and Turner. They might be looking elsewhere for upgrades this season.

Furthermore, the Pacers are currently 11-8 and fourth in the Eastern Conference. In a conference that is wide open, they seem to be a team that could end making the postseason.

In addition, Indiana’s early success might convince team owner Herb Simon not to break things up. McMenamin reported that the Lakers aren’t convinced the Pacers owner would dismantle a winning team to tank for prospect Victor Wembanyama.

It will be interesting to see if Los Angles ends up making any type of blockbuster deal this season. Any big trade would surely have to include the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks. Only time will tell if Rob Pelinka and the rest of the Lakers front office part ways with those valued selections.

Los Angeles is set to face off against Indiana on Monday. Anthony Davis, who missed the team’s most recent game, is questionable for the contest.

The 29-year-old big man is averaging 33.4 points, 17.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.6 blocks per contest over his last five games. If he continues playing like that, the Lakers might not need to make any trades to get back into title contention.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.