It only feels like a matter of time until the Los Angeles Lakers make a blockbuster move (or two) to try and save their season.
Despite a thrilling 133-129 road win over the powerhouse Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, the Lakers are still well below .500 (9-12) heading into the weekend. It’s clear that this team isn’t constructed to compete for a championship, even with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the roster.
It’s no wonder that the Lakers have dominated the NBA trade rumor mill in recent months. They’re not in a position to tear it all down with Davis and James on the roster, so GM Rob Pelinka will have to make a big move sooner than later.
According to a report from ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Lakers have held “internal discussions” about a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Bulls. Here’s what Lowe said on a recent edition of “The Lowe Post Show” (h/t NBC Sports Chicago’s Rob Schaefer):
“I can tell you 100 percent for sure the Lakers have had internal discussions about that very possibility (trading for DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vučević) if it would ever come up. Not that they (the Lakers) would do it, let me be clear. Just, you look around the league, like any responsible team would.”
The Bulls were one of the NBA’s top surprise teams last year, going 46-36 for their first winning season since 2016. But like the Lakers, the Bulls have performed below expectations this season, as they sit at 9-13 heading into the weekend.
DeMar Rozan and Nikola Vučević would instantly improve the Lakers’ offense, but it will be tricky to make a deal work for three obvious reasons: 1. Their salary cap situation 2. The lack of quality trade assets and 3. The fact that they don’t have their own first-round pick to offer up in a trade until 2027.
James and Davis are still playing at All-Star levels, but the Lakers simply aren’t anywhere close to threatening the top clubs in the Western Conference with this roster. Will Pelinka find a way to pull off another savvy blockbuster to save the season? Only time will tell.