The Los Angeles Lakers came into the offseason looking to massively overhaul a roster that objectively underperformed in 2021-22.
By any measure, acquiring Russell Westbrook one year earlier was a mistake. The front office acknowledged that both publicly and privately, and has subsequently worked tirelessly to remedy the situation.
This past week, the Brooklyn Nets announced that Kevin Durant would be returning to the franchise after having demanded a trade earlier in the offseason. That move also signaled that Kyrie Irving, who the Lakers had their sights on, was officially off the table.
Almost immediately, L.A. went out and acquired Patrick Beverley from the Utah Jazz in return for Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson.
During a recent podcast appearance on Lakers Talk, ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst went into detail regarding what happens next.
“My guess is, by February, the Lakers will have made a significant trade,” Windhorst said.
“I don’t know who it will be for. I just don’t know for sure. Just because the Nets may have a certain position today, doesn’t mean they’ll feel that way in six weeks. Doesn’t mean they’ll feel that way in three months.”
Windhorst then went on to add that patience would be key for L.A. in this situation.
“The Lakers may just have to remain patient,” he continued.
“I think, the message the Lakers have sent is that they’re willing to pay to upgrade the roster but they do not want to pay to just trade off Russell Westbrook. Their mission is not to just trade Russ. They want to pay to significantly improve their team.”
Fans have been clamoring for several days since the Durant announcement for Lakers brass to acquire Myles Turner and Buddy Hield from the Indiana Pacers. And understandably so – both fill the two big holes the team is attempting to address right now.
But given the Lakers’ lack of leverage in talks, the Pacers will undoubtedly demand a couple of draft picks. That’s a lot for two role players.
The Lakers have some big decisions to make. They’re facing attacks from all sides from teams trying to steal Carmelo Anthony away. There has been talk of a franchise-altering trade with the Chicago Bulls.
It has been a lot.
Paige Spiranac’s outfit was deemed too inappropriate for a round of golf. https://t.co/3jt315rnYB
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 25, 2022
If Windhorst is right, it could be some time until the Lakers commit to actually making a big move.
What will this team ultimately look like by February?
Time will tell.