The NBA trade deadline is the last chance for hopeful teams to get that final push for the postseason. In the past, big names have been traded and it can have a huge impact on the trajectory of a team.
This season, the Lakers are in desperate need of change in light of their season-long struggles. With an older roster that doesn't quite seem to fit together, it's clear that Rob Pelinka made a number of mistakes over the summer.
Unfortunately for the Purple and Gold, it seems they're stuck with what they've got.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the team currently has no tradeable assets.
“I think, for the most part, the Lakers’ improvement is going to have to come from within,” Wojnarowski said. “They just don’t have tradable assets, especially with so few sellers in the market. There are going to be other teams who can offer those select few sellers better offers than the Lakers will be able to.”
Naturally, the biggest issue for the Lakers (at least, according to the fans) is Russell Westbrook. The All-Star guard was brought in to help ease the load on LeBron James. Instead, he's been underwhelming at best, with inefficiency defining his campaign so far.
"He is gonna be the solution... Russell Westbrook is who he is," said Kendrick Perkins. "There's no in-between with him, it's almost like a batter coming up to bat. Russell Westbrook is either gonna hit a home run or he's gonna strike out, there's no getting to first base, second base, or third base and that's ok. That's who he is, he's gonna swing for the fences... At the end of the day, I know Russell Westbrook has got a lot of criticism and rightfully so. Russell Westbrook had to agree to this trade, he knew going to team up with Anthony Davis and LeBron James that there was going to be a lot of pressure. He knew it was going to be a championship or bust. He knew he had to critique his game."
Trading Russ for a solid, two-way wing makes a lot of sense, but it's a whole lot easier said than done. Westbrook is set to make over $40 million next season, and nobody will take that on after what we've seen this season.
Besides Russ, nobody else really has the pull to bring in someone who could move the needle.
Truth be told, the Lakers are stuck with the guys they have, and there may be no changes at all until the offseason. So, unless the team finds a way to make do as they are, their fate may already be set.