The Los Angeles Lakers have been very inconsistent in the current season. Albeit, they have not lost a game in the in-season tournament so far. The LA side reached the quarter-finals of the inaugural NBA Cup. However, this kind of start is not raising hopes for the LA fans. Moreover, what’s more concerning for the 17-time champions is their injured list. Since the preseason, the list started filling up fast. Like Jarred Vanderbilt has been out for a long time owing to a heel bursitis injury.
It started out with Vando, then Gabe Vincent, Jalen Hood-Schifino, and Rui Hachimura all joined the List. To save themselves from moving to an impending territory, the front office plans to trade for star-free agents like Zach LaVine and others. But to trade for a star, the Lakers may have to give up on their essential assets. Now, who can the LA side use for trades?
NBA Executives Believe Rui Hachimura and D’Angelo Russell Might Be Tradeable
It will be hard to trade Hachimura as they signed him in the last offseason on Day 1 of Free Agency. Apparently, the Japanese signed a deal worth $51 million for three years. On the other hand, D’Angelo Russell has a two-year deal worth $37 million with a player option in his second year. But D’Lo has been performing exceedingly well this season. He has been even better than Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura this season so far. Hence, it would be hard to give D’Lo up as well. But Michael Scotto of HoopsHype mentioned executives from the rival teams expect the Lakers to trade D’Lo and Rui.
But there is no concrete evidence to support the theory that the Lakers would even imagine trading the two players. Moreover, on December 15, most players will become trade-eligible. D’Angelo Russell might fall under that category. But Rui Hachimura doesn’t become eligible for trade because of the extended contract with an increase in pay to make things simple. Moreover, it is the same scenario for Austin Reaves as well. Hence, the Lakers can trade D’Lo Russell because they can upgrade the guard spot easily. On the other hand, it is different from the position of Rui Hachimura.
Lakers Didn’t Have A Great Start To The Current Season
The Lakers will meet the Phoenix Suns for the quarter-finals at their home court. But till then, the 17-time champions must ensure their place in the postseason. For that, they must have a good regular season. However, so far, the performance of Darvin Ham’s side in the regular season has been so-so. But the Lakers managed to have a three-game winning streak twice this regular season. Later, they also had a three-game losing streak.
But the loss to the Philadelphia 76ers was far worse than that three-game losing streak. Joel Embiid and his teammates blew the Lakers with a 44-point win. The LA side lost to the 76ers 94-138. Lately, the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Lakers 133-110. Currently, the LA side is the 7th seed in the Western Conference with an 11-9 record.