Los Angeles Lakers make best move making no move at trade deadline

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t make a move at the NBA Trade Deadline, but sometimes the best move is not making a move.

The Los Angeles Lakers surprised some people by staying pat at the NBA Trade Deadline. Despite being mentioned in a number of rumors, the Lakers held steady, not making a trade for the sake of making a trade.

While the Lakers didn’t make a deal, some of their closest competition in the Western Conference did. The Houston Rockets and LA Clippers all made deals near the deadline. A lot of people will look at what the Clippers did and compare it directly to the Lakers.

The Clippers acquired Marcus Morris from the New York Knicks in a three-team deal that involved the Washington Wizards.

To land Morris, the Clippers sent Moe Harkless, a 2020 first-round pick, the right to swap picks in 2021 and a 2021 second-round pick, via the Detroit Pistons, to the Knicks. Jerome Robinson was sent to the Wizards and Isaiah Thomas was sent to the Clippers but isn’t long for the stay according to David Aldridge.

There are fans that will be disappointed not only because the Lakers missed out on Morris, who is having a career season with the Knicks, but because he went to the Clippers. However, the best deal sometimes is making no deal, and that fits the bill here.

The Lakers did their due diligence, but they were smart to not make a deal just because they saw some other contending teams doing it. For whatever reason, teams have sky-high asking prices when talking to the Lakers.

For example, the talks with the Knicks. From New York’s perspective, talks essentially began and ended with Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers thought long and hard about it but stepped away from the negotiating table once they insisted on Danny Green being added to make the salaries match and multiple second-round picks.

For those counting at home, that is two rotation players and multiple picks for one player. The Clippers, while they did send multiple picks, essentially swapped out Harkless for Morris, which is arguably an upgrade.

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Morris is having a great season, averaging 19.6 points and knocking down nearly 44 percent of his 3-point attempts, but he isn’t replacing what both Green and Kuzma bring to the court for the Lakers.

The other trade rumors that were floated around were too much, as well. Derrick Rose is another player having a solid season, but acquiring him for someone such as Alex Caruso fills one hole while creating another.

At the end of the day, the Lakers had to decide if sacrificing multiple rotation pieces was worth upgrading one aspect of the team. Kuzma’s contract was not high enough to match up, so they either had to include a player such as Green or multiple end of the bench pieces, such as Quinn Cook, DeMarcus Cousins or Troy Daniels, that other teams were not interested in without more compensation.

While some fans are disappointed the Lakers didn’t make any moves, it was the smart thing to do. The Lakers will have one distinct advantage over everyone else, as they kept their roster intact and will continue building off the chemistry they were already building.

The Lakers will now turn their attention to the buyout market. Darren Collison and J.R. Smith are two players to keep an eye on that the team could target that are available right now.

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Figuring out which player, or players, to waive will be the next decision for Rob Pelinka and the front office to make. It will not be an easy one, but they will have to figure something out if an upgrade presents itself on the buyout market.