Lakers Targeting Mystery Player For Trade: Report

Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers can’t escape the media hyperbole after a horrendous 2-8 start to the new season.

Frankly, until the purple and gold start stringing wins together, they’re going to be the primary focus of the national media, because the world expects the Lakers to be competitive. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, it appears they will struggle unless they can figure out a trade to improve their fortunes.

According to Howard Beck, who was speaking on The Crossover Podcast, the Lakers are waiting for a specific player to become available – although no one outside of the organization knows who that player is.

“I will add one thing without going into all the detail, but I was canvassing a bunch of front office folks last week when I was workshopping my idea of ‘Can the Nets tear down now? Should they just tear down now? What could they reasonably get for Kevin Durant? Could they get anything for Kyrie Irving? Could they get anything at all for Ben Simmons?’ And in those discussions, when I brought up the Lakers, the pushback I was getting was they’re waiting for a specific player.

That they’re not doing the Pacer deal, that they won’t do the Kyrie deal now that we for sure thought they would do a couple months ago, is an indication that the Lakers are waiting for a bigger piece to come loose that they think they can trade Westbrook and the two future firsts for,” Beck said during the episode.

In the NBA, there is always a disgruntled superstar around the corner, but given the lack of tradable assets at the Lakers’ disposal, it’s hard to envision them being in a position to acquire any such star throughout the current season.

Lakers Likely to ‘Resist’ Trading Future Picks

On November 8, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Lakers were unlikely to trade away their future draft picks if the team’s current poor form continues, regardless of what deals may become available.

“I’m told that the organization will be prudent with their two first-round picks available that they have for the remainder of the decade, in 2027 and 2029. I don’t believe the Lakers are in a position right now, to mortgage their future with those two available picks. So, realizing that this team is probably not going to be a championship contender, might not even be a shoo-in for the playoffs, I mean the way that this season is going.

They’re probably looking at marginal changes around the edges, at best. And that means trying to make deals without putting in first-round picks. Because, as of right now, the organization seems to be moving in a direction where they’re going to resist moving first-round picks if the season continues to go down this path,” Charania said on November 8.

Without adding their future draft assets to a deal, the Lakers are weakening their ability to negotiate trades, given that they currently lack enticing players or good-value contracts to entice opposing teams to the negotiating table. Still, if Los Angeles is turning their attention to the future, then holding onto future draft picks could be their best bet.

Ham Expects Things to Turn Around

Following the Lakers’ loss to the Utah Jazz, Ham also spoke to the media, where he discussed his belief that the Lakers are capable of turning their fortunes around, and that their early-season form is simply a byproduct of the coaching staff looking to implement a new style of player and lockerroom culture.

“I would say this, man. And write it, quote it, however,” Ham said. “This may be happening now at the outset of what we’re trying to force to be a culture change in terms of getting us back to being highly competitive on a highly consistent basis, but it’s not going to always be like this…We’re going to turn the corner. I didn’t come here to lose. They didn’t bring me here to lose,” Ham told reported on November 7.

The Lakers will be looking to get back into the win column when they face the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, November 9otherwise, they will slide to 2-9 and remain rooted to the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

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