How the Lakers’ deadline deals will propel them to the playoffs

Thomas Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Thomas Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

A busy NBA trade deadline caused front offices across the association to reevaluate their rosters. Trades were submitted until Feb 9th at 3 P.M ET, causing massive reactions from fans following the news on Twitter. A handful of teams took advantage of the opportunity, hoping to strengthen their odds of competing for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Trades were accepted, elevating teams like the Lakers to a new level of competition.

The Lakers’ rough start caused concerns for an optimistic fanbase

A rough start to the new campaign caused fans to dissect the state of Darwin Ham’s team. Los Angeles began the season with two losing streaks of five games – raising concerns for devoted fans. Victories against the Nets, Pistons, and Spurs were signs of improvement, but it was clear that the Lakers needed to acquire a few additional pieces to compete for a playoff berth.

A switch in the rotation became the short-term solution. Los Angeles inserted Austin Reaves into starting lineup – giving Russell Westbrook the role of a sixth man. Knocking down open shots became easier for LA. Their remodel led to 8 wins during a ten-game stretch, but it was clear that additional changes were necessary.

On Jan 23, the Lakers decided to make another change to the roster. A Trade with the Wizards sent PF Rui Hachimura to Los Angeles in exchange for three second-round picks and G Kendrick Nunn. Hachimura’s shooting range (31.7% 3P) and physicality inside the paint stood out to the front office. Thoughts of pairing him with Lebron James and Anthony Davis were enough for the Lakers to agree to terms.

Lakers’ trade deadline transactions are paying off on the hardwood

The NBA trade deadline gave the Lakers another opportunity to improve their roster. On Feb 9, Los Angeles acquired D’Angelo Russell from the Timberwolves in exchange for a 2024 draft pick. Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley also became members of the Lakers in exchange for Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damien Jones, and Russell Westbrook. Mo Bamba was also acquired to replace Thomas Bryant in a four-team trade.

Impressive debut showings are shifting the narrative on the Lakers season. A 109-103 win over the Golden State Warriors convinced fans that Los Angeles’ front office made the right decisions. Dennis Schroder and Rui Hachimura combined for 42 points – allowing King James to rest a lingering foot injury.

On Wed, the Lakers defeated the Pelicans, 120-102. It was the team’s most convincing victory so far this season. Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell were effective on the floor – finishing with 49 combined points. LeBron James also added 21 points to the stat sheet in an impressive Lakers win.

Next. Can the new-look Los Angeles Lakers save their season. dark

Los Angeles is ranked 13th in the Western Conference standings and will need its new cast to provide immediate results. Darvin Ham’s staff has enough role players to sneak into the Western Conference playoff bracket. This journey requires focus, and Los Angeles appears to have their eyes set on a bright future.