The Los Angeles Lakers surprised a lot of people when they decided to not make any moves and stick with their current roster, even with all the struggles they've gone through during the 2021/22 NBA season. It was reported that a trade with the Houston Rockets involving John Wall was on the table, but the team declined.
General manager Rob Pelinka explained that they didn't feel the need to make some changes given the kinds of deals they were offered, claiming that the team's two stars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, agreed with that decision.
Via The Athletic:
“It can’t be just a decision about what is best for today or best for what happened right after a loss,” Pelinka told Thursday afternoon. “It has to be with the long term in mind and the short term. So we just didn’t find a deal that we felt made sense from all of those different perspectives.”
Pelinka highlighted his ongoing dialogue about the roster with James and Anthony Davis and said “there’s alignment there, and that’s all that matters.”
This statement raised a lot of eyebrows around the league, considering all the things LeBron said about the trade deadline. A new report suggests that the 'alignment' was never there and Rob falsely said that James and Davis backed him in this decision.
According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, source close to James and Davis denied those claims, labeling them 'totally false.'
“Rob said that he was trying to weigh the short term and the long term for this franchise, and that’s ultimately why when the Rockets wanted the Lakers to include a first-round pick, talks fizzled. When there was a three-team discussion between the Raptors and the Knicks and first-round compensation was desired, talks fizzled.
But Rob Pelinka also said that ultimately there was alignment between him, LeBron James and Anthony Davis to not make a move. 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’. That there was no conversation between Rob Pelinka, LeBron, and Anthony Davis on Thursday. That there was no go-ahead of an OK to have inaction at the deadline. And so where things stand out right now, that tells me there’s not just problems with what you’re seeing on the court…but there’s problems off the court between an alignment … and his leaders on this team.”
This is not a good look for the Lakers. They knew they needed to make some changes to face the rest of the season. Russell Westbrook has mightily struggled this season, unable to make an impact on the team.
Besides Brodie, other players have failed to make this team competitive. It's been reported that the team will monitor the buyout market to find pieces for the roster, but there isn't much to look at. In recent hours, they've been linked with Dennis Schroder, who didn't have the best tenure in SoCal last season.
Even if they added players through the buyout market, the Lakers are unlikely to have a deep playoff run (if they make it). The trade market was a big chance for them and they blew it. There isn't much they can do now, except bring Westbrook off the bench every game, and nothing assures that that will work out for them.