Lakers: Pursuit of shooters continues as trade deadline approaches

LeBron James #6, Anthony Davis #3 and Russell Westbrook (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LeBron James #6, Anthony Davis #3 and Russell Westbrook (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers’ improvement throughout the first quarter of the NBA season has been a sight to behold. With a lot more basketball to play, they look to continue to strengthen their squad before the trade deadline on Feb. 9. On Monday, The Athletic reported the Lakers’ involvement in multiple discussions to acquire talent around the league including Detroit’s Bojan Bogdanović, as well as Evan Fournier and Cam Reddish from New York.

In an incredible turn of events, the Lakers are 11-15, stringing some wins after a disastrous 2-10 start to the season. When it looked like the ship was sinking early, the purple and gold made the necessary adjustments to keep them on the surface. Lakers fans immediately got the memo to hold off on throwing in the towel.

Spearheaded by Anthony Davis’ MVP-level performances, the Lakers are not settling quite yet. Their primary weakness has been the lack of shooters on their roster. While they tend to build brick walls in every arena they play in, we have seen the Lakers’ ability to attack the basket. When healthy, they have shown that they can compete against the league’s best.

The Lakers are in a situation where they can continue to cast their net for help in the shooting department. And these recent reports reveal that Bogdanović, Fournier, and Reddish are all on their radar. Bogdanović has been stellar for the Pistons so far this season. The 33-year-old is averaging 21 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. His 50.8% field goal and 43.7% three-point shooting would be an incredible addition for the Lakers outside the arch. However, sources have reported that Detroit shows no interest in trading the Croatian sharpshooter. The Pistons are unfortunately at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. So unless Bogdanović asks for a trade, there is no reason for them to trade away one of their biggest assets right now.

The other possible trade partner is the eighth-seed New York Knicks. The players of interest are Evan Fournier, who is currently third in points-per-game for the Knicks behind Julius Randle and RJ Barrett. Alongside Fournier, Cam Reddish is also mentioned in the Lakers’ wishlist. However, the Duke product has not necessarily been exceptional this season. Nor has Fournier, who has experienced a decline in his scoring average. At this point, the Knicks, like the Lakers, are still figuring out which steps to take, while playing jump rope with the line between Playoff contention and squeezing into the Play-In tournament. Despite not being on top of their game, at this point, the Lakers would still be a great beneficiary to these players.

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The Lakers have a few pieces to offer these teams individually or as trade packages. Of course, the most notable one is Russell Westbrook, who has restored his value by performing well off the bench. Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV have also been valuable role players for the Lakers. In the end, the goal is to win games and compete for a championship. With that said, the Lakers are taking steps toward their long-term goals by scouting for reinforcement. They have to secure a good deal with the right trade partner sooner than later. Though, that could be easier said than done.