The Lakers are scrambling just to scrape into the playoffs, but coach Mike D’Antoni sounds skeptical that any move before the Feb. 21 trade deadline would do anything beneficial to the team’s fortunes.
“It would add somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing and it could take a while,” D’Antoni said. “You’re playing games you have to win and we might not even play them. That’s a hard thing. As an organization, I’m sure we’ll keep looking and talking and if something makes sense, we’ll do it.”
But Lakers fans shouldn’t get their hopes up after D’Antoni spoke with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak last weekend in Miami.
“We are who we are,” D’Antoni said. “It’s good. We have that mindset. But I’m sure he’s always looking, thinking and talking to everybody.”
Even with Pau Gasol out at least five to seven more weeks because of a foot injury, the team’s options are fairly limited. The Lakers have the disabled players exception stemmed from Jordan Hill’s season-ending hip injury. But the Lakers can only use this exception to sign a free agent for up to one season or acquire a player making up to $1.88 million through a trade. Players such as Lou Amundson and Kenyon Martin would fit under that exception.
Still, the Lakers have indicated they don’t plan to be active leading into the trade deadline. The Lakers (24-28) enter tonight’s game against the Phoenix Suns (17-35) at Staples Center in 10th place in the Western Conference 3 1/2 games behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth playoff spot.
“We need to play guys who know the system,” D’Antoni said. “We could bring somebody in to bring them on the bench for a while. But that doesn’t make any sense for us either. We’re in a strange situation.”
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