If Lakers fans weren’t already annoyed with the arbitrary 20-game minimum the franchise reportedly laid out as the season started before they’d make a trade, boy is there another present for you. A week before that 20-game deadline would be met, the Lakers are already looking to extend it another month.
On Wednesday’s episode of Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast, Dave McMenamin spoke about the Lakers’ current plans and realistic aims after Tuesday’s loss to the Suns. And it is not to wait for only 20 games.
“What they feel is realistic is playing .500 ball until December 15 when deals start to potentially open around the league because that’s when contracts that were signed this past summer can be traded. And then maybe you can finally make this mythical draft-pick trade that’s been talked about for months and months and months sometime in late December to mid-January and have that be an additional thrust to the type of basketball you’ve already been doing, you’ve already established.”
At this point, it just feels like the Lakers are unserious about actually making a trade. It also feels like something akin to Jim Buss setting the deadline for making the playoffs in that it’s a deadline that benefits nobody.
The Lakers making a 20-game deadline to open the season was pretty arbitrary and pointless. But the idea of that timeline blew up because of the team’s slow start. And now everyone is very aware of that deadline and the Lakers don’t seem any closer to a deal now than they were to open the year.
In theory, the longer the Lakers wait, the lower the price will be for any trade package as the contracts for players are only getting shorter. But the Lakers are so far away from any trade that it’s unclear how much that helps them. Barring another team drastically changing their approach to this season — which could be what the Lakers are hoping for — there isn’t any new deal that is going to appear now that wasn’t there to start the year.
There is a new crop of players that could be traded on December 15, but, again, are any of them so impactful that it’s worth waiting? The Lakers haven’t been a .500 team yet this season. Can they afford to wait another month?
Again, ultimately, all of this feels very silly and it’s doing nothing but making the Lakers front office look worse and worse. Stop making deadlines and just do a trade or don’t. Leaking these deadlines just adds unnecessary pressure and gives fans something much more tangible to be angry about.
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