The Los Angeles Lakers hold the West’s best record by 3.5 games. Los Angeles trails the Milwaukee Bucks by three games for the NBA’s best overall record.
Despite how dominant the Lakers look at times, there is still room for improvement. L.A. dropped games to playoff contenders in the Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.
There is no need to sound the alarm but the Lakers should seek help at the deadline. They should make a move at the deadline to further dominate this season.
Continue Pelinka’s Stamp
An addition at the deadline would help the Lakers forget all of last season’s turmoil around trade rumors. General manager Rob Pelinka did such a great job constructing this roster that he earned a promotion to President of Basketball of Operations, a title previously held by Magic Johnson.
Lakers fans are forgetting about that whole Magic ordeal thanks to Pelinka’s performance this year. He closed the Anthony Davis trade and found key contributors like Dwight Howard cheap.
Pelinka can further put his stamp on this team with a move at the deadline. He can show poise and build relationships to help the Lakers optimize their roster on the fly, which would silent remaining critics.
Do Anything to Keep Anthony Davis Happy
The Lakers should also reiterate they will do anything to bring a title ASAP with a deadline trade. That’s a major key to keeping Davis from testing free agency after this season, as he already turned down the Lakers’ max extension this year. A.D. can opt out of his current deal after this season but winning a title might make him think twice.
This season, Kuzma was pigeon-holed as the third-best player on the current roster behind Davis and James. The 24-year-old mostly comes off the bench to give them that scoring punch but is up and down, mostly due to injuries. Kuz is averaging 13.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game across 34 appearances. Trading Kuzma might be the Lakers’ best option as he is one of the team’s few desirable trade assets.
Of course, risk comes with shaking up a locker room at the NBA trade deadline. Why fix it if it isn’t broke?
Long road trips, off nights and injuries happen but these Lakers navigate around that adversity. This team genuinely seems to like each other too.
Address Roster Needs
Currently, no one consistently commands the starting point guard role. Rajon Rondo looks good in limited spots. He has only played in 28 games this year with two starts. Avery Bradley has been just as inconsistent and hurt in playing in 29 games with 24 starts. Troy Daniels, Alex Caruso and Quinn Cook are specialists who see playing time depending on matchups and injuries.
Los Angeles could easily use an upgrade at point guard. The team needs someone who can shoot, facilitate and play defense as those duties are currently divided throughout the rotation. Dennis Schroder and Derrick Rose are speculated as point guard answers for the Lakers point guard position.
L.A. needs some added scoring punch off the bench too. They sometimes start slow, and they have also struggled with deep rosters like the Clippers. Thus, they’ve been connected to wing players like Marcus Morris or Andre Iguodala. Morris can provide scoring and shooting while Iggy brings defense and facilitating.
Any of these players would fill a roster need and give the Lakers must needed depth in a playoff series. Ultimately, the Lakers dealing before the 2020 NBA trade deadline on Feb. 6 would only help them separate from the stacked competition in the West.