The Los Angeles Lakers remain in the hunt for postseason qualification, and their dealings at the February 9 trade deadline certainly didn’t do them any harm.
In fact, according to former NBA Champion Kendrick Perkins, who was speaking on a February 23 episode of the NBA Today, the Lakers, as currently constructed, should be considered a dangerous proposition – especially if they enter the playoffs as the eighth seed.
“This team right here, with the way that D’Angelo Russell has been playing since January, even when he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The addition of Jared Vanderbilt. They have everything and more. In my opinion, the only thing in question is the health of Anthony Davis. But, when it comes down to the Western Conference, it’s a few teams that don’t wanna see this Laker team…This team will be dangerous, they will be the most dangerous 8th seed in NBA history, in my opinion,” Perkins said.
Lakers fans will surely be hoping that Perkins is correct and that the purple and gold can make some significant noise if their team makes it into the playoffs (or play-in) by the end of the regular season.
Lakers Willing to Pay Their New Arrivals
According to league executives who spoke with Heavy on Sports Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, the Lakers will likely look to re-sign their new additions in the off-season or tie them down to contract extensions, depending on their current situations.
“They would never have given up that pick unless they planned to make some long-term investments,” one GM told Heavy Sports. “They were willing to trade it but they needed some guys just heading into their primes to convince them to give it up. Now they’ve got (D’Angelo) Russell, they’ve got (Jarred) Vanderbilt, they’ve got Malik Beasley, plus (Rui) Hachimura, Austin Reaves. We’ll see what they do with Mo Bamba, too…That’s a base of young players that they did not have before, you know, guys who are mid-20s (in age). They’re going to keep those guys in place. They’re all in on paying those guys.”
If the Lakers can make some noise in the post-season and rebuild around the fringes of their roster this summer, their new-look rotation could be a legitimate power player in the seasons to come, assuming they can keep all of their recent additions.
LeBron James Ready to Embrace Kyrie Irving
While Los Angeles may be happy with their recent additions, the future of Anthony Davis continues to be a talking point. According to ESPN’S Brian Windhorst, there is a legitimate chance that LeBron began his recruiting process for Kyrie Irving during All-Star weekend.
“Nobody, and I mean nobody, starts free agency in February like LeBron James, usually at All-Star Weekend…Certainly, the Mavericks have high hopes for what they’re able to accomplish with Kyrie over the next few months. But, he is on the record as saying, ‘don’t even ask me about my future,’” Windhorst said, “And that is because he wants to leave that Lakers’ lane open, and LeBron is very clearly, ready to embrace him…He knows that Kyrie, a player that he has won a championship with, might be as good as he can get. Right now, this is just a flirtation of convenience for both of them, but it is absolutely a peak at what these guys might have planned in the back of their minds.”