NBA Rumors: Have the Lakers had a change of heart about trading D'Angelo Russell?

Perhaps the Los Angeles Lakers may not trade D'Angelo Russell after all.

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers
Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages
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NBA Rumors: Have the Los Angeles Lakers have a change of heart about trading D'Angelo Russell?

With every passing game, it's becoming more and more clear that the Los Angeles Lakers need to make an upgrade at the NBA Trade Deadline - which is less than three weeks away - if they're going to have any chance to compete in the Western Conference with the contenders such as the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, LA Clippers, and perhaps even the Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves.

But that is easier said than done.

As the Lakers explore a potential move at the NBA Trade Deadline, in almost every theoretical move, you'd have to imagine that D'Angelo Russell would be involved one way or another. However, that may no longer be the case.

Despite the trade whispers, Russell has taken his game to another level in the last couple of weeks. In his past seven games, Russell is averaging 26 points and seven assists on 53 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent shooting from 3-point range. Russell is playing so well that according to a recent report, the Lakers may be having a change of heart when it comes to their stance on trading Russell.

Does it even matter if the Los Angeles Lakers pursue an NBA Trade Deadline move?

Here's the unfortunate reality for the Lakers at the moment. Considering how inconsistent they've been playing this season, it may not even matter in the end if they make a move at the trade deadline. Even though there are players on the trade block that could improve the Lakers roster, I'm not sure if any of them move the needle enough for the team to close the gap between Los Angeles and the rest of the contenders in the West.

You can make the argument that a move for Murray could help accomplish that, but even that type of move is far from a guarantee. Because of that natural concern, you can't help but wonder if that's also in the back of the front office.

Next. Deadline moves - good bad . 4 Risky NBA trade deadline moves that are needle-movers, 5 that would be big mistakes. dark

Do they use the last of their available assets to make a move that may or may not result in significantly improving the roster? Ultimately, that's the question the Lakers will have to answer in the final couple of weeks before the trade deadline. And, sure, I suppose whether to trade Russell or not is part of those discussions as well.