Trade Deadline Winners: Los Angeles Lakers
It feels weird to say that the Los Angeles Lakers are winners at the trade deadline after doing nothing but that might actually be the best thing that they could have done. Instead of making a blockbuster deal that would have put them in a tough spot down the road, they opted to play it safe and trust that players Gabe Vincent and Jared Vanderbilt would help them once they were fully healthy.
They also aren't in the second apron, meaning that they won't have the same constraints as several other playoff teams, and that could give them a leg up when signing buyout candidates. Also, it's not crazy to think that they can sign a rotation player rather than trade for one.
That would allow them to improve and they could wait until the offseason to see what happens with their pick. The New Orleans Pelicans can choose between LA's 2024 and 2025 first, making it hard for the Lakers to offer multiple picks in a trade. But if the Pelicans take their 2024 first, then the Lakers can trade three firsts in a deal for a star such as Trae Young or Donovan Mitchell, both of whom they have been linked to.