Following a 131–116 loss to the Bucks on Tuesday that dropped the Lakers to 26–29 on the season, ESPN's Dave McMenamin reported that players on Los Angeles's roster feel a sense of urgency ahead of Thursday's trade deadline. The players on the current roster reportedly don't see standing pat as a viable option for future success.
According to ESPN, Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka will collaborate with star forward LeBron James, among others, leading up to the deadline in an attempt to improve the Lakers' chances of a deep postseason run.
James admitted after Tuesday's loss that Los Angeles is still a ways away from being a title contender.
”It tells me we ain't on their level,“ James said. ”I mean, I could have told you that before the game.”
”Obviously you always kind of use games to see where you are at that moment, but we know where we are at this moment: sitting at a couple, few games under.500" James continued. "Haven't played the basketball that we'd like to play.“
According to The Athletic's Bill Oram, the Lakers no longer believe they can win at a high level with Russell Westbrook alongside Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Westbrook watched the final 15 minutes of Tuesday's game from the bench after a 4-11 shooting performance.
“I told them I wish I could help them,” Westbrook said postgame. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the game to be able to help them and that’s why I came here, to be able to help them out. So, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do that for them, but that’s not my call.”
The Lakers travel to Portland and play the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 10 p.m. ET.
The trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
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