After once talking to his team about championship aspirations, Lakers coach Byron Scott has experienced too many losses and absorbed too many injuries to make a pretty understandable conclusion.
“We need pieces at every position,” Scott said on Thursday after practice at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo.
Yet, the Lakers (13-40) did not make any moves leading into Thursday’s trade deadline. The Lakers expressed a “ton” of interest in guard Goran Dragic, according to an NBA source familiar with the situation. But the Phoenix Suns traded Dragic and his brother, Zoran, to the Miami Heat for Danny Granger, Justin Hamilton and two first-round picks. The Lakers, meanwhile, were unwilling to part ways with their own draft selections.
“It didn’t seem like anything was going to happen,” Scott said after having brief conversations with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. “So I don’t know how close it was. He didn’t give me an indication of that.”
They can keep a first-round pick owed to Phoenix as part of the Steve Nash deal if it lands in the top five. The Lakers also have a mid first-round pick stemmed from the Jeremy Lin trade. And with Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, Ryan Kelly and Julius Randle as the lone players under contract next season, the Lakers will have enough money to sign a marquee free agent to a maximum-level salary.
All of that prompted Scott say, “I have a lot of faith” in Kupchak and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss in rebuilding the roster this summer.
“I believe in Jim and believe in Mitch,” Scott said. “The game plan they showed in me months ago, I believe in that. It’s going to take us some time. We know it’s going to be a process. You just have to stick to your guns.”