The NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching, and the Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a flurry of activity. From exploring the possibility of bringing in Russell Westbrook to searching for premium shooting, the Lakers are doing their due diligence in the hopes of making one more move to solidify their championship aspirations. With the All-Star game just around the corner, players are making their own moves, with Damian Lillard intending to participate in the 3-Point Contest and Malik Beasley potentially being traded for a first-round pick.
The Lakers have been in communication with most teams in order to find the most reasonable and logical options available. Russell Westbrook has found his comfort zone as the team’s top reserve, placing him in the conversation for the Sixth Man of the Year award. Though his play has improved since accepting his new role, he has remained available for trade.
The Lakers are also searching for premium shooting, with Detroit Pistons sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanović a principal target. It’s been reported that it would take at least an unprotected first-round pick to get the Pistons’ attention. The belief within the Lakers’ organization is that they need to make at least one more move by the Feb. 9 trade deadline to give themselves a legitimate shot at competing for a championship.
The acquisition of Rui Hachimura and the return of Anthony Davis has provided a jolt of energy and a renewed sense of confidence in the locker room, along with some added motivation. However, Davis wasn’t named a reserve to the Western Conference All-Star roster on Thursday, which left Lakers players privately agitated. Prior to going down with a foot injury in December, he was playing at an MVP level.
Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic have made center Mo Bamba available, and Utah Jazz shooting guard Malik Beasley is open to a change of scenery. Washington Wizards guard Will Barton is also open to a change of scenery, with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks potentially making a run at him. Lastly, Portland Trail Blazer star Damian Lillard intends to participate in the 3-Point Contest at All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City.
The Lakers have a lot to consider as the trade deadline looms. With so many players potentially on the move, the entire league is on the edge of their seats in anticipation of what the next few days will bring.