The Lakers (11-44) may have an endless to-do list in revamping their roster. But the Lakers passed on fixing any of those issues before Thursday’s trade deadline.
The Lakers’ decision to stand pat stems from the variables that could make it easier to rebuild their roster during the offseason. Then, the Lakers will have more cap space because of Kobe Bryant’s pending retirement. If the ping pong balls bounce in the Lakers’ favor, they could also have a top-3 draft pick.
The Lakers wanted to hold onto their young core of players that included D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Anthony Brown because of their talent and long-term potential. The Lakers have several veterans available on expiring contracts (Roy Hibbert, Ryan Kelly, Robert Sacre, Metta World Peace, Marcelo Huertas) or on reasonable deals (Lou Williams, Nick Young and Brandon Bass). But none of those pieces attracted much interest.
Any potential deal became more complicated because the Lakers did not want to accept anything that could compromise their cap space or disrupt their young core’s development for the remaining 27 games. Most NBA teams have also held draft picks in higher regard because of the potential to land a promising young player as well as the stricter spending limitations in the league’s labor deal constructed five years ago.