February 20, 2024

Lakers’ Rob Pelinka — ‘Right move’ not there at trade deadline

LOS ANGELES — After a quiet trade deadline on Thursday, Los Angeles Lakers vp of basketball operations and normal supervisor Rob Pelinka defined his group’s inactivity.

“You can’t buy a house that’s not for sale,” Pelinka stated earlier than L.A.’s 114-106 loss to the Denver Nuggets. “We spend a lot of time looking for ways to use assets to make our team better. But the right move wasn’t there.”

The Lakers, regardless of numerous calls — each outgoing and incoming — within the days and weeks main as much as the deadline have been not notably shut on any offers on Thursday, sources advised ESPN. There was no traction on a trade for Atlanta Hawks level guard Dejounte Murray on Thursday, sources stated, which was a deal that was circled for weeks between the 2 franchises however by no means landed.

Ultimately, L.A. did not wish to shortchange its future — parting with its solely movable future draft decide (2029) now for a “marginal” enchancment, in Pelinka’s phrases — and lose out on the possibility to mixture that decide for a much bigger deal this summer time when it should have three future first rounders out there to trade when the NBA calendar resets in the summertime.

“In terms of what was available at the trade deadline, we had one first-round draft pick,” Pelinka stated. “It was our only sort of hook to fish with. And this summer in June, we, at the time of the draft, we’ll have three first-round draft picks to look for deals, which I think will really unlock an access to potentially a greater or bigger swing.”

L.A. has one roster spot open and plans to fill it on the buyout market so as to enhance within the interim.

“There’s a really good group of names available in the looming buyout market,” Pelinka stated. “Thankfully under the new [collective bargaining agreement], we’re in a position where we can be buyout players. Some teams can’t sign buyout players at a certain level of spending. So we’re going to look for ways to upgrade our team there.”

The Lakers are thought of to be among the many front-runners to signal guard Spencer Dinwiddie when he clears waivers. Dinwiddie was traded from Brooklyn to Toronto on Thursday and the Raptors do not plan to have him as a part of their future.

“We tried everything we could, and again, the market is the market,” Pelinka stated. “There was very, very few sellers. I don’t think today, on the deadline day, there were many marquee players moved. There were a lot of buyers and, as everyone knows, when the market has few sellers and tons of buyers, the prices are very, very aggressive. And sometimes no move is better than an unwise move.”

Pelinka stated he spoke to LeBron James previous to the trade deadline and James’ message to him was he would fulfill his duty to guide the Lakers group so far as they may go, irrespective of who’s on the roster.

James, when requested after the Nuggets recreation if he believed L.A. may make a run if Jarred Vanderbilt (foot), Cam Reddish (knee) and Gabe Vincent (knee) can return wholesome, was unable to reply the query.

“I don’t know,” James stated. “Haven’t gotten to that point. So it’s hard to say.”

L.A. had extra unhealthy luck with its well being on Thursday, with D’Angelo Russell being a late scratch due to left knee soreness and Max Christie lacking the second half after turning his proper ankle.

“I think first we just have to get healthy,” Anthony Davis stated, when requested about what it should take for the Lakers to make a playoff push. “We lose Max, Vando, D-Lo, Gabe. So we have to get healthy.”

Davis was requested the group feels any stress to compete for a championship this late in James’ profession, and the Lakers large man admitted, considerably soberly, that the group is much from that proper now.

“I think we all want to win,” Davis stated. “I don’t think that’s what we’re looking at it like. For us right now, it’s just about winning the next game. We can’t look too far ahead in the future. Obviously that’s the end goal, to win every year, but there’s a lot of things that we have to clean up before we even think about competing for a championship.”