Lakers Scrambling To Address New Urgent Need Before Trade Deadline

Lakers Scrambling To Address New Urgent Need Before Trade Deadline

The Los Angeles Lakers got dealt another blow this week in a season full of them when Jarred Vanderbilt suffered a mid-foot sprain.

Vanderbilt will be re-evaluated in three to four weeks, but it really wouldn’t be all that shocking to see him miss the rest of the year.

Because of that, a major new hole that needs plugging has opened up right before this week’s 2024 NBA Trade Deadline comes and goes.

This is further bolstered by a recent report by Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

“The Lakers clearly need to establish a semblance of consistency with their performance, energy, effort and playing rotations,” he wrote.

“At the same time, they likely need to make a trade or two. The team is putting a greater emphasis on adding a defensive wing by the trade deadline, according to team sources. The issue, of course, is that every team could use another wing. Prospective prices are high.”

So who precisely are the Lakers expected to target now? Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale of the Brooklyn Nets.

“Heading into Thursday’s deadline, rival executives continue to believe a first-round pick and a rotation player is suitable for Finney-Smith – who’s owed $14.9 million next season with a $15.37 million player option for the 2025-26 season – and multiple second-round picks can be had for O’Neale, who’s entering unrestricted free agency this summer,” Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported this week.

“Finney-Smith has drawn significant interest on the trade market, including several playoff-caliber teams such as the Lakers and Mavericks. With Jarred Vanderbilt potentially out for the season, per ESPN, Finney-Smith is a versatile defensive forward who can make up for his loss while spacing the floor. The Mavericks have long held interest in a reunion with Finney-Smith who is a close friend of franchise star Luka Doncic.”

The Lakers are currently one of two teams with standing offers to the Atlanta Hawks for Dejounte Murray. Obviously if they get him – both O’Neale and Finney-Smith are off the table.

That said, if the Murray deal falls apart, this seems like the second most logical move for L.A. to make.

Will Jeanie Buss and Co. be able to secure a Vanderbilt ahead of the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline? Time will tell.

Related: Lakers Have Eye On 3 Players As 2024 NBA Trade Deadline Looms

Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.
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