Report: Lakers no longer trying to preserve cap space for 2023 free agency - Lakers Daily Report: Lakers no longer trying to preserve cap space for 2023 free agency - Lakers Daily

Report: Lakers no longer trying to preserve cap space for 2023 free agency

Rob Pelinka Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

For months, the belief has been that the Los Angeles Lakers are trying to make financially smart moves in the 2022-23 NBA season in order to preserve cap space for the upcoming offseason.

According to John Hollinger of The Athletic, the Lakers’ recent move to acquire forward Rui Hachimura may have signaled a major shift in the front office’s plans going forward.

“Of course, the Lakers already gave us a partial answer to this existential question when they traded three second-round picks to Washington for Rui Hachimura,” he wrote. “Most of my league sources, given anonymity so they could speak freely, pegged this as a 2023 free-agency move more than an in-season roster makeover, and if so, it could be a signal that L.A. intends to keep pushing in chips rather than accumulate 2023 cap space.”

The definitive answer to this mystery will surely be answered prior to the NBA’s trade deadline on Feb. 9.

The Lakers reportedly believe that they are just one move away from being title contenders this season. The question now remains as to what that one move could possibly be.

Of course, the Lakers could try to send a combination of players and picks in exchange for a few solid role players. The team has reportedly been in touch with both the Utah Jazz and Charlotte Hornets to discuss possible moves. Both of those teams have some great players that could potentially thrive in supporting roles for the Lakers.

The Lakers could also try to swing big and add another star to their already top-heavy roster.

As fans know well, the Lakers currently rely on the elite talents of LeBron James and Anthony Davis to get wins. That works sometimes, but in many games this season, the Lakers have struggled due to a lack of additional scoring options.

Adding another star could give the Lakers the kind of Big 3 that has led to many NBA titles for other franchises in recent years.

Out of those two potential paths, the former seems more likely. The Lakers could greatly benefit from some additional depth at guard and on the wing.

If they are now willing to change their cap plans and part ways with at least one of their future first-round picks, then there should be very little in their way to get a trade done.

The Lakers have six more days to make trades to improve their roster. They currently sit at the No. 12 seed in the Western Conference.