Lakers

No ‘incredible sense of urgency’ to trade before deadline

Things have been quiet on the trade front around the Los Angeles Lakers with the deadline approximately 24 hours away. The biggest news coming out of Tinseltown is a report that the Lakers’ front office has begun shifting its gaze to the 2019 free agency class, and the latest from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne points to things staying steady in LA through the remainder of the season.

“The sense I was getting and talking to both the Lakers, and the teams around the league who were talking to the Lakers, is they don’t seem to have this incredible sense of urgency to make any trades right now,” Shelburne told ESPN Los Angeles Wednesday morning.

That sentiment lines up with the big ESPN report about the realignment to 2019, the front office pleased with the improved play from the team in recent weeks. The Lakers have won 11 of their last 15 games, posting the second-best record in the NBA during that stretch. That the team has accomplished such a stark turnaround despite Lonzo Ball missing the last 11 games is remarkable.

Josh Hart deserves a big nod for taking full advantage of the opportunity to start over the previous three games, rewarding head coach Luke Walton’s decision by notching a double-double in each of his starts. The big “trade bait” players in Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson have also been instrumental during the improved stretch, seemingly saving them from the deadline axe.

The tea leaves are reading as if the Lakers are going to stand pat through the deadline, allowing the core they’ve built to develop through the remaining 29 games. Things could always change, but that seems to be the message coming out of El Segundo on trade deadline week.

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