The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to decide whether to throw a pebble or boulder into the NBA trade waters.
Lakers president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka are considering two types of trades as the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline approaches, The Athletic’s Bill Oram reported Friday, citing team sources. The goal of both options is to propel the Lakers into the playoffs, and avoid the embarrassment of missing the postseason in the first year of their LeBron James era.
Oram describes option one as a trade that “… shores up the current roster and increases the Lakers’ chances of saving face and making the playoffs.”
Option two is more interesting:
“A blockbuster that lands the Lakers a second superstar that makes them a true threat in the Western Conference this season and beyond,” Oram writes.
That likely would mean parting ways with one member (at least) of the team’s young core — Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram (both 21), Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart (both 23) — which they previously had hoped to keep intact alongside James and a future superstar free-agent signing. With the Lakers having fallen out of the playoff spots amid James’ ongoing recovery from a groin injury, Johnson and Pelinka might consider the second option.
However, if they decide merely to tweak the current roster via trade, they’ll likely pursue a 3-point shooter on an expiring contract. Washington Wizards guard Trevor Ariza, Miami Heat guard Wayne Ellington, Orlando Magic swingman Terrence Ross and Memphis Grizzlies swingman Garrett Temple are under consideration to fill that need, a Lakers source told Oram.