NBA Rumors: Did Los Angeles Lakers give up on the season at the NBA Trade Deadline?

Did the Los Angeles Lakers prematurely give up on this season?
Atlanta Hawks v Los Angeles Lakers
Atlanta Hawks v Los Angeles Lakers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

NBA Rumors: Did the Los Angeles Lakers give up on the season at the NBA Trade Deadline?

As the Los Angeles Lakers struggled to find their footing this season, there was almost an expectation that they were going to be aggressive heading into the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline. However, that didn't happen. Instead, the Lakers elected to not make any moves at the deadline. In what ended up being one of the more peculiar moves of the trade deadline season, it's still a difficult pill to swallow weeks later.

According to one Lakers writer, there's a belief that Los Angeles elected to not make a move at the deadline at least in part because the season was considered to be "beyond salvation."

This is certainly a bold statement or theory and would be almost impossible to prove one way or another. However, it is quite interesting that the Lakers elected to stand pat at the trade deadline when they had been so aggressive in the past - in the offseason and at last year's trade deadline.

You can make the argument that they were in a worse spot last season and still were incredibly aggressive at the NBA Trade Deadline in retooling the roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The fact that they didn't do so this season was a bit surprising, to say the least.

On one hand, it's understandable that the Lakers didn't want to burn their assets at the trade deadline in favor of potentially making a big move during the offseason. On the other, is it truly that smart to essentially throw away another season of LeBron's prime? Without making a move at the deadline, that's essentially what the Lakers chose to do. With the way that they were playing through that point in the season, it was foolish to expect them to simply flip a switch down the stretch.

Are the Los Angeles Lakers saving their big move for the offseason?

With just a couple of weeks left in the regular season, we now know that the Lakers couldn't flip a theoretical switch. Even if the Lakers can earn their way into the playoffs via the Play-In Tournament, the expectation is that they're not going to make much noise. At best, they could push one of the top seeds into a difficult first-round series, but I don't think they'll have much of a shot to pull off a huge upset. Much less if they end up facing off against the Denver Nuggets.

Heading into the offseason, it's clear that this team will need to add another significant piece if they want to compete for the championship in the next couple of years with LeBron. The Lakers elected to not make a move at this year's NBA trade deadline. They can't afford to do the same during the summer.

It's almost a certainty that a big move will have to be made by Los Angeles over the next few months. This season may very well be a lost cause, but there's a lot of work to do for the Lakers heading into the summer if they want to re-enter contender status in the Western Conference.

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