With all the speculation that there would be a trade made, Lakers’ General Manager Rob Pelinka did not pull the trigger on any deals before Thursday’s trade deadline. Dave McMenamin of ESPN relayed Pelinka’s message, “You can’t buy a house that’s not for sale.”
This begs the question if whether no one wanted what the Lakers had to offer, or whether Pelinka is confident in the team’s ability to win a championship the way the roster is currently constructed.
It seemed like everyone’s name was on the trading block except for their superstars; LeBron James and Anthony Davis. As a result, the team’s morale has been anything but that of a championship caliber team. Now that the deadline has passed the focus for everyone will shift on making a strong playoff push.
How have Russell’s performances influenced their trade deadline decision?
D’Angelo Russell was arguably the biggest asset the Lakers had to offer, but his previous performances may have saved him a job in Los Angeles. The Laker’s point guard has averaged 22.2 points and 6.4 assists since Jan. 1. He has even shot a team-best 45% from three with the purple and gold in that span.
If Russell keeps up his outstanding production as he has alongside James and Davis, that big three could elevate the Lakers and potentially beat anyone that stands in their way in a seven-game series.
Last season, their playoff run came to an end after and underwhelming display in getting swept by the Nuggets. The silver lining was that the Lakers team had only been together a couple of months before the playoffs started.
With continuity not being an issue this season, Pelinka’s decision to stay stagnant at the trade deadline could be a blessing in disguise for the Lakers. Catapulting them to a potential rematch with Denver, a rivalry showdown with the Clippers, or even an NBA Finals appearance.
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