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Lakers trade rumours: Will the Lakers make progress to improve the roster in January 2023?

techsm5

As one of the most recognizable sports franchises on the planet, let alone the NBA itself, it’s somewhat confusing to see where the Los Angeles Lakers stand today. Yet here we are with LA staring the possibility of another “no playoffs” season in the face. With that in mind, we take a look at some of the possible moves LA could/should make if they want to improve their fortunes in the 2022-23 NBA season, as well as the million dollar question: What is going to happen with LeBron James?

The LeBron James problem

As we mentioned above and as you probably already know, the Lakers are in bad shape right now. Currently 13th in the Western Conference, 3.5 games from the play-ins and 5.5 games from the 6th seed, there is a very real possibility that the Lakers will not qualify for the playoffs for the second time. To be clear, this would be the first time in LeBron James that he hasn’t played postseason in back-to-back seasons. Needless to say, it’s not something the 38-year-old is happy about. Add to that the fact that he’s playing better than ever right now – despite the Lakers’ overall decline – and you can imagine his frustrations are at a fever pitch. Indeed, James has expressed his concerns at the Lakers’ front office, however, reports suggest the franchise isn’t ready to make changes here and now.

As for James specifically, there is a catch. Due to the way his contract is structured, James cannot actually be traded until six months after signing his extension, which coincides with the trade deadline of February 9. That means the Lakers star isn’t going anywhere until the end of this season. As you can imagine, it’s not an ideal situation and with an insider report suggesting James will demand a trade, a bad situation now seems to have gotten worse.

Russell Westbrook should be fired

While the former nine-time All-Star point guard should be congratulated on his new role as the Lakers’ sixth man, the reality is that it was never a happy marriage. In addition to his expiring $47.1 million maximum salary contract — mentioned as leverage in a variety of potential trades — LA has failed to find a new home for Westbrook. On the other hand, it might just work in his favor as the former league MVP has definitely endeared himself to the fans and the league itself with his performances off the bench. With his new found street cred and the fact that he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, chances are we’ll see him elsewhere and frankly, that would be good for both parties.

Lonnie Walker Award

As one of the league’s premier franchises, it goes without saying that Lakers players get more TV airtime than many others. On the other hand, you have to “give Jack his jacket” when someone deserves recognition. In this case, that person would be the 23-year-old swingman. Amid a career-best season, the 6′4″ wing is averaging 14.7 career points on .455/.384/.875 shooting, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists for the Lakers. With free agency coming this summer, we expect LA to give the kid a raise, because it would be a mistake not to.

Will the Lakers Make a “Major Trade?”

The options mentioned above are of course centered around players who are currently on the Lakers roster, but what about those who are not. That is, could the Lakers – despite some reports of front office reluctance – actually dive into the market in the name of a headline trade? According to a recent podcast by Lakers drummer Dave McMenamin, that’s exactly what we might be looking at. Indeed, to hear McMenamin tell it, the Lakers are past the “discovery” period and now have reinforcements in sight. If that’s indeed the case, then maybe LeBron James will finally get what he’s been asking for: a stronger supporting cast.


techsm5

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