The Los Angeles Lakers made arguably the splashiest trade of the year so far by acquiring Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards this week.
Now with him in tow and Anthony Davis returning to the fold, many are wondering if L.A. is finally gearing up for some sort of run.
Currently the Lakers are 23-26, but this season that puts them just two games back of the sixth place Dallas Mavericks.
With 33 games left to play, this group can still make a run – presuming they make some more additions ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline.
According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, two players to keep an eye on as it pertains to the Lakers are Mike Conley Jr. of the Utah Jazz and Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets.
“Now that Utah has come down to earth, the front office is believed to be shopping veterans such as guard Mike Conley,” he wrote.
“Conley’s contract is favorable, with $14.3 million of $24.4 million guaranteed next season. The same (real or wannabe) contenders are thought to have interest, among others: the Lakers, Clippers and Timberwolves.”
Gordon, similarly, is drawing interest from L.A.
“The Rockets run the risk of a diminishing return, but Gordon seems likely to be dealt by the deadline,” he continued.
“Interested teams include the Suns, Lakers and Bucks.”
The Lakers had plans to go after a big superstar at one point this season, but their strategy changed dramatically when Davis got hurt.
How Conley or Gordon align with the team’s short-term and long-term goals remains unclear.
That said, clearly the Lakers aren’t content just continuing to lose. The frustrations associated with that are just too much. You literally had LeBron James trying to fight a fan at a recent outing. That’s how bad things have gotten.
Brittany has done it again.https://t.co/gJjC0mZ9zy
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 26, 2023
Will either Conley or Gordon turn Los Angeles into a legitimate title contender? Probably not.
Would they help return the franchise to some degree of respectability, though? Perhaps.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.