Doug McKain, our intrepid Lakers 248 video commentator, has the latest scuttlebutt on potential Lakers deals, and indicates why he feels your Los Angeles Lakers should do what they can to make a trade before December 15th, when most players signed to new deals in 2022 free agency across the league can become trade-eligible.
"We heard for so many weeks now the Lakers were waiting 20 games before they made a move, but now it appears it is going to be longer than that, something in the 26-game range," McKain noted. The Lakers have played 22 games this season to date, and have gone 10-22 over that span. McKain goes on to note that the Lakers hope to stay around .500 until December 15th, and will look to make a deal then.
This writer had been skeptical L.A. would be capable of doing that, given that a lot of its wins earlier this month had come against lackluster opponents (four were against the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons) and the team was embarking on a tough-looking road trip. But now that L.A. has notched victories against solid Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards teams to start its road trip 2-0, it seems that the Los Angeles front office may have been on to something.
"So yes, will there be more players available -- will there be a new collection of talent that you can pick from -- after December 15th? Yes there will be," McKain opined. "Will players and trades potentially come at a cheaper price? Yes that's true, possibly, as well. But I don't think it's anything significant. I think at this point in the season, teams know what they are, they know what they're willing to trade. And still if you look at what the Lakers can offer, their only true asset is Anthony Davis... They're not gonna trade Anthony Davis. Now what do they have to trade? They have Russell Westbrook... And then there are those two first-round picks, 2027 and 2029."
"So if you're the Lakers in this situation, the longer you wait, yes you might be able to open up some opportunities for some other players when teams decide they're gonna be sellers instead of buyers... the one move that they could make, hopefully, if they want to try to salvage this season, is to find a way to trade for Buddy Hield and to trade for Myles Turner... But my sense of the situation is that there's not a move out there that the Lakers think can push them over the top."
Would Indiana, currently just a game above .500 at 12-11 following three consecutive losses, even want to do this? The trade would unquestionably improve this currently L.A. team, which boasts a mediocre 10-12 overall record and has a surfeit of solid veteran point guards to offset Westbrook's absence, though none are as good as Westbrook.