The Los Angeles Lakers have a couple of items on their wish list ahead of this season’s NBA trade deadline.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, speed and athleticism are priorities for the Purple and Gold.
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“Speed and athleticism are certainly a priority,” he wrote of the Lakers after being asked about their deadline goals.
The Lakers have been involved in plenty of trade rumors this season, but they’ve yet to pull the trigger on any deals. They have plenty of time to do so before the trade deadline, as teams have until Feb. 8 this season to get busy.
From lineup changes to rotation tweaks, L.A. and head coach Darvin Ham have tried to come up with various ways to get the most out of the current Lakers roster, but the squad seemingly hasn’t lived up to its full potential yet this season.
That’s despite the run the team made during the In-Season Tournament to win the first NBA Cup.
Following their Christmas Day loss to the Boston Celtics, the Lakers are now 16-15 on the season, and they’ve lost five of their last six games. They currently own the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference, meaning they’d land in the play-in tournament if the season ended today.
In order to stay afloat, the Lakers have also had to ask a lot of veteran superstar LeBron James, who is averaging 34.3 minutes per game despite initial plans to give him a more reasonable workload. James will turn 39 years old this week.
Last season showed the Lakers that it’s entirely possible for a team to make some deadline splashes and immediately reap the benefits, so they may be tempted to try their luck again this time around. L.A. finished four wins shy of a trip to the NBA Finals last season after making various moves.
For now, L.A. will look to wrap up the calendar year in style. The squad has three games remaining before 2023 becomes 2024, and they will come against the Charlotte Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans.
When the deadline gets closer, perhaps fans will get a better idea of what the Lakers have in mind when it comes to adding some speed and athleticism.