The Los Angeles Lakers are 19 games into the season but are still involved in a litany of trade rumors. The team is only 7-12 right now and it’s obvious there are major roster issues. However, it’s not too late to make a trade that can turn the season around.
The Lakers recently hosted the Indiana Pacers, which was notable considering the trade rumors surrounding the two teams. For months, Los Angeles has been linked to a trade involving Buddy Hield and Myles Turner. Indiana is seemingly willing to do it if the Lakers include their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks. Currently, Los Angeles is not willing to meet that asking price.
For the first time this season, the Lakers had to play against Hield and Turner. Before the game, head coach Darvin Ham didn’t directly address the rumors surrounding the Pacers but had a chance to address the trade rumors around the team in general.
“I’ve dealt with that myself personally,” Ham said, via Kyle Goon of the OC Register. “But you just have to have an approach that whatever jersey you put on, it’s a blessing to be in this league and handle it like a professional.”
Russell Westbrook is at the center of almost every Lakers trade rumor but has remained a good soldier. With a trade appearing less and less likely every day, Ham made it clear that he’s happy with what he has and is focused on turning the season around with the players he has.
“I can just say this: We’re totally thrilled with the way our current group is progressing, and we’re excited about the success we’ve had here recently,” he said. “And we just hope to build on it in that locker room.”
Lakers Fall to Pacers
Heading into Monday’s game against the Pacers, the Lakers had won five of their last six. It looks like it was about to be six of their last seven until Andrew Nembhard hit a game-winning 3-pointer to beat Los Angeles. The Lakers were controlling the game throughout but fell apart towards the end. The team had a 17-point lead with less than 10 minutes left and still lost.
Ham took the blame for the Lakers falling apart down the stretch.
“That falls on me,” Ham said of the team’s offensive woes to end the game, via ESPN. “That falls on me. I’ll take responsibility for that.”
Lakers Waiting for Big Trade to Materialize
Based on how the season has gone so far, it appears the Lakers are wasting another year of LeBron James. The future Hall of Famer only has so many seasons left but the team isn’t highly motivated to improve the roster. In fact, they are going to continue to remain patient until they find a trade they like, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
“My sense from talking to people around the league: [The Lakers] are not necessarily motivated right now to go do something big, unless something big presented itself to them. They’re waiting for their phone to ring,” Shelburne said.
As the season goes on, it’s possible that a perfect trade materializes. However, the losses are piling up and the Lakers can’t afford to lose many more games if they hope to make the playoffs. The clock is ticking on the season.