The trade deadline passed this year with the Los Angeles Lakers making zero moves. General manager Rob Pelinka, who built the 2019-20 roster which helped LeBron James win his fourth championship and Anthony Davis capture his first, told reporters there wasn’t a deal that made sense for the Lakers.
Pelinka traded for Russell Westbrook in the offseason after speaking with LeBron and Davis and claimed he consulted with his two superstars at this year’s trade deadline. The Lakers had multiple potential trades fall through at the last hour since teams knew they were desperate and asked for impractical returns, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic.
While Pelinka, LeBron and Davis met in the offseason during the Westbrook trade and were aligned, the trio may not have been in contact at the trade deadline despite Pelinka declaring he spoke to the King and the Brow.
There Was No Conversation Between Pelinka, LeBron, Davis
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Pelinka didn’t consult LeBron and Davis at the trade deadline, which means the exec possibly lied when he spoke to reporters.
McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPN and has a relationship with LeBron and his camp.
“Rob Pelinka also said that ultimately, there was alignment between him, LeBron James and Anthony Davis to not make a move,” McMenamin said on NBA Today. “Now, things get interesting here, where I am told from a source familiar with LeBron and Anthony’s thinking is that that is ‘totally false.’ There was no conversation between Rob Pelinka, LeBron and Anthony Davis on Thursday. There was no go-ahead of an okay to have inaction at the deadline.
“And so where things stand right now, that tells me that there’s not just problems from what you’re seeing on the court, with the Lakers losing six out of eight, but there’s problems off the court between an alignment, as Rob Pelinka termed it, and his leaders on this team.”
The Lakers are in ninth place in the Western Conference standings despite having LeBron, Davis and Westbrook leading the way. After they got blown out by the Milwaukee Bucks at home, McMenamin reported that Los Angeles players and coaches knew changes needed to be made.
However, no changes were constructed, which means LeBron and Davis could be disgruntled with Pelinka. It’s worth mentioning, though, that the Lakers had “great energy” in their first practice post-trade deadline.
Frank Vogel Said Lakers Had Good Energy in 1st Practice After Deadline
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told reporters that his group had great energy in their first practice after the trade deadline. Los Angeles faces the Golden State Warriors next. The Dubs have the second-best record in the West.
“Our group had great energy today,” Vogel said, via Mike Trudell of Lakers.com. “In the team film session and in practice.”
The Lakers have a lot of ground to make up if they don’t want to be in the play-in tournament. They have to be a top-six seed to automatically qualify for the postseason.
Now that the roster is set for the rest of the campaign, the purple and gold players have to lock in on the task at hand and play inspired basketball on both ends of the floor.