Despite swirling trade rumors, the LA Lakers opted to remain inactive at Thursday’s trade deadline, leaving Lakers fans puzzled as several Western Conference rivals strengthened their rosters. However, several factors likely contributed to the Lakers’ decision to stay put.
Reports suggest that the Lakers were unable to acquire a game-changing player like Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray without sacrificing too much in return. The team was reportedly hesitant to part ways with shooting guard Austin Reaves, whom the Hawks desired, in a potential deal for Murray.
Desired role players like Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso remained out of reach due to high asking prices.
Furthermore, the Lakers were unwilling to offer their prized 2029 first-round draft pick, reserving it for potential use in a blockbuster trade during the off-season.
Speculation has arisen regarding off-season targets such as Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks and Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers, acquisitions that could form a formidable Big 3 alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
With shooting guard D’Angelo Russell as their next-best trade asset, the Lakers likely faced challenges in finding a suitable upgrade without parting with significant assets.
Despite Russell’s earlier availability due to shooting struggles, his recent offensive surge, averaging 23.6 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.1 3-pointers per game over his last 14 games, made him a valuable asset that the Lakers were unwilling to part with lightly. Consequently, they opted to bide their time until the off-season for potential roster adjustments.