At the beginning of the season, most Lakers fans had little doubt that between their free agency acquisition of Lebron James and several other veterans joining their young core that they would be a playoff contender. The simple question on everyone’s mind was would they have enough talent to get past the defending champions Warriors.
Despite some hot streaks sprinkled throughout the season, it doesn’t seem to be going in the direction Lakers management had hoped. With Lebron suffering a lingering groin injury, and the battle between recently acquired veterans and head coach Luke Walton, the Lakers now find themselves in tenth place in the west as we near the All-Star break. Now that LeBron James’ injury seems to be healing as he returned for one game and looks to tentatively reinsert himself into the regular rotation, they are clearly hoping his play will reignite the offense and bounce them back into the playoffs. The question that remains is if they make the playoffs will they be able to make a significant run in a conference with teams like the seemingly unstoppable warriors.
As the trade deadline nears it seems that General Manager Magic Johnson doesn’t think so as the Lakers have reached out multiple times to acquire another star in Anthony Davis. The most recent trade rumors showing the Lakers have offered Ball, Kuzma, Ingram, Rondo, Stephenson, Beasley, and two first-round draft picks, and yet no deal has been finalized.
It seems while the Lakers have not given up on trade talks with the Pelicans they have started making backup plans. Today, Brian Windhorst released reports that the Lakers are in talks to try and acquire Jabari Parker from the Chicago Bulls. While Parker certainly isn’t the same caliber of player like Anthony Davis, he is a terrific athlete who was once a top NBA prospect, and with only one year on his contract, the risk is low if he doesn’t shine the way they hope. The risk is also lowered as the only piece rumored to be on the block in this trade is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who has had somewhat of an off year with the Lakers, seeing both his minutes and points per game drop from last year. While this trade seems like a low-risk backup plan if Anthony doesn’t come their way, like most things in life, it’s not perfect. Caldwell-Pope has a no-trade clause in his contract which means if he chooses, he can veto any trade he’s involved in. While his role would likely be bigger on the Bulls, he may not wish to be traded to a team with one of the worse records in the league.
As the deadline nears there is no question the Lakers are looking to make a move, but only time will tell if another team will step up to the plate and take one of their offers.
Featured Photo Credit: Cluthpoints.com
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