Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the Lakers newsletter. I’m Dan and Wiki, and I apologize for the short hiatus because I’m done with a big event Darwin Hamm Profile personly. I love If you check it out – It’s exclusive to subscribers, but $1 will get you for six months.
Anyway, let’s move on to the Lakers and the topic of conversation surrounding them some more.
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narrowest possible angle
Before this season begins, The Times spoke with several NBA scouts and executives about the Lakers’ best plan of offense. in time, Russell Westbrook He was seen as a $47 million albatross with an uncertain role on the team – the essential trading piece a team could use to rotate two or more players back in a deal that could ultimately cost them both of their available first-round picks to be traded – 2027 and 2029.
The team decided to wait – to see if the market would come to them a little more with asking prices, and possibly lower as the teams learned more about themselves and as the schedule moved more towards the February 9th trading deadline.
There was no fierce race to the bottom that some people expected after that Victor Wimbanyama The people of the NBA stunned at a pair of exhibition games in Las Vegas Perhaps cooler heads will prevail once teams once again realize the more even odds in the NBA lottery.
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This has resulted in a fairly quiet trading market – some roaring here or there about a deal without much action behind it.
It seemed certain that at some point, the Lakers were likely to behave — especially with their stars playing well after a rough start.
But here, now with over a third of the season behind them, Westbrook has emerged as a very important player for the team. LeBron James was blown up. And the Anthony DavisThe recent foot injury, which is dealt with in such vague language that it is hard to get anyone to assert that he still has a left and right foot, spoils the future of the team even more.
He put the Lakers, in a way, into a tighter place than they had in the summer — pretty unbelievable considering how tough of a place they were going in camp. On the one hand, the Lakers are on the periphery of the Finals picture and have clear needs, especially with Davis out. On the other hand, Davis is out — once again — and the team’s apparent needs that have pushed them to the periphery of the playoff picture are making team managers wonder whether or not the present is worth sacrificing the future for.
The Times contacted rival executives to see if they thought Davis’ injury would make the Lakers more aggressive in the trade market.
While there was some hedging — “it depends on the severity [of the injury]A majority of people think the team will push for a deal, said one GM in the Eastern Conference.
“[They’re] within striking distance f [have] said one of the competing executives. “ought to.”
Another competitor said that, if negotiated properly, he felt Davis’ injury could actually help the Lakers’ position in trade talks. The team has sought leverage in the talks since the summer, with many in the League seeing them as “desperate” to make some kind of trade.
That, plus the early timing of any talks, kept the asking price really high. This executive believed that hitting Davis in any real seriousness would give the Lakers leverage they haven’t had since the summer by giving them a real reason to shut down talks and focus on the offseason.
This reasoning has been met with some skepticism at home, but it is not without some merit.
As far as you might target the Lakers? This is still everywhere.
There are people within the organization who are very fascinated by the New York Knicks forward cam redish – a 6-foot-8, 23 winger – who would give the Lakers the size on the perimeter, a massive need. He’s also a former lottery pick, the kind of reclamation project the Lakers have had some success this year with a player like Looney Walker IV.
League sources say the Knicks are seeking a protected first-round pick for Reddish (they sent one to Atlanta in the deal to get him — and the Hawks later used him in their trade for Dijonte Murray). Reddish is not currently in the Knicks rotation, so the asking price is expected to drop eventually.
There are evaluators who still believe in Reddish’s talent and believe that the right teammate — say, someone with James’ charisma — can unlock potential teams that potential teams saw when they named him as a top prospect in the 2019 NBA dDraft.
Now, is this a big step? Probably not — and certainly not the kind of talent injection the Lakers would need to replace an injured Davis or his preexisting roster issues.
The general feeling is that asking prices across the league might drop in January once teams have a clearer handle on their future (watch Chicago). But like many, this means two things for the Lakers.
First, in a few weeks, they may have a better sense of who might be available at a reasonable cost. But in two weeks, the Lakers might struggle without their superstar—a deal that’s both more urgent and less necessary (because, perhaps, the hole would be too deep).
The right decision is certainly not obvious – and it may not exist at all.
song of the week
“Alone on Christmas Dayby Phoenix W Bill Murray
I’ll be in Dallas for Christmas with the Lakers Luka Doncic And the Mavericks, they lost the holidays at home. And no song captures that feeling better than this amazingly bizarre debut between my favorite French dance-rock band and the guy from “Scrooged.”