It has become a strenuous task for the LA Lakers to get through this season to the playoffs. LA has struggled to move forward due to significant injuries to star players Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Despite that, the Lakers had the opportunity to acquire Kyle Lowry before the trade deadline but decided against that route due to a singular refusal.
Lakers’ continue to struggle with health
Over the last few weeks, the Lakers have limped through the season due to notable injuries.
Anthony Davis attempted to play through a bothersome Achilles injury before LA stepped in to keep him off the floor to allow him to recover fully. Davis has remained out of the lineup over the last month. The team was hit with another gut shot with LeBron James suffering a right high-ankle sprain just over a week ago.
James is expected to be sidelined anywhere between four to six weeks. The hope in LA is that both players can return ahead of the playoffs to guide them toward another title run.
Before the Lakers can truly envision that route, the team had an opportunity to acquire Kyle Lowry and elected to pass on the scenario.
The Lakers Couldn’t Pull the Trigger to Add a Former NBA Champion
In the days leading up to the trade deadline, the assumption was that the Lakers wouldn’t be strong players in the trade market.
However, there recently became a growing sense that LA could push their way into the picture to acquire All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors. The trade talks around the situation heated up in the hours ahead of Thursday’s deadline, with the Lakers and Miami Heat becoming the most likely landing spots.
The Heat wound up choosing to head another route by acquiring former All-Star guard Victor Oladipo from the Houston Rockets. Meanwhile, the Lakers reportedly wouldn’t budge toward put promising swingman Talen-Horton Tucker in a trade offer that included Dennis Schroder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
In his second season, Horton-Tucker has shown flashes of promise with his play on both ends of the floor. Lowry could have provided more security in the backcourt, but LA envisions the 20-year-old playing a big part in their long-term future.
The bigger question concerning this situation is how the trade chatter impacts Schroder’s contractual situation. He previously expressed significant interest in staying in LA for the long haul. There are also reports suggesting that his price tag will be above $20 million annually on his next deal.
Other possible moves lie ahead
The Lakers elected not to commit to a blockbuster trade for Kyle Lowry, but the team still has other options.
Before the recent rumors around Lowry ahead of Thursday’s deadline, the feeling around LA was that any roster move would come through the buyout market. Things have picked up in that realm, with the Cleveland Cavaliers moving toward a buyout with star center Andre Drummond.
The Lakers have remained heavily linked to Drummond over the last few weeks. Meanwhile, veteran big man LaMarcus Aldridge is going the same route with the San Antonio Spurs.
Aldridge may also be in the picture as another potential option. Since last offseason, LA has had a glaring need to address their frontcourt situation after moving on from Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee. It also hasn’t helped that Marc Gasol has struggled in his first year with the Lakers.
The addition of either of these soon-to-be free agent big men would be a welcoming sight in LA. The Lakers will have formidable competition, with the Heat expected to be the frontrunners to acquire Aldridge. The Brooklyn Nets have also been linked to Drummond.
The pressure may be on the Lakers to add one of these proven big men after teams such as the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets made notable trade deadline moves.