The Los Angeles Lakers came into the 2022-23 NBA season understanding that a championship was likely out of reach.
What nobody expected, however, was for L.A. to be the worst team in the league.
Currently the Lakers are 2-9 on the year. The only squad with a worse mark is the Houston Rockets. And unlike the Lakers, they actually own their first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft so they have an incentive to be bad. L.A.’s pick goes to the New Orleans Pelicans.
One trade that the Lakers have frequently been linked to in recent months is one with the Indiana Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. In that proposed swap, L.A. would send Russell Westbrook plus their lone remaining first round picks in this decade to Indiana for two guys that would plug their shooting hole.
To date, though – the Lakers have resisted the move. This week we found out why.
“It is not universally believed internally that a trade for Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner and sharpshooter Buddy Hield would move the needle to title contention, sources say,” Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report reported.
If that is the rationale, then it’s hard to argue with the logic. It is difficult to see a scenario where the oft-injured Turner and streaky Hield meaningfully turn this dysfunctional Lakers group into a championship contender.
Factor in LeBron James being hurt at the moment and Anthony Davis always being hurt, and you can see why shipping off the lone remaining draft capital Rob Pelinka has at his disposal isn’t a preferred move.
That being said, if the Lakers are truly throwing in the towel on title contention, then it seems like a waste to have both James and Davis on the roster. Either they need to rebuild and lose both guys, or they need to go all in.
L.A. doesn’t have many options here. Earlier this week word emerged regarding what they were demanding of the San Antonio Spurs in any potential trade.
Fresh clarity was also offered on how the front office currently feels about Kyrie Irving.
And of course Westbrook’s status continues to be a question mark. He has played noticeably better since being moved to the bench, but does that mean he will be a part of the Lakers’ long-term future? Doubtful.
As recently as last week three teams expressed interest in acquiring Westbrook, but L.A. has yet to tip its hand on what it wants to do there.
It’s not all bad news for the Sixers. https://t.co/wrLiZ6zdyi
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 10, 2022
The Lakers are down bad right now and don’t have a ton of promising options at their disposal.
What route will they ultimately take?
Time will tell.