1. Other contenders are getting better
The Los Angeles Lakers cannot afford to be complacent at any point this season. I said this during the offseason and Rob Pelinka absolutely seemed to agree and that is what led to his offseason moves: if you are not getting better in this league, you are getting worse.
Now, how much a team can get better during a season is certainly smaller than how much they can improve in the offseason. That does not remove the fact that other top-tier contenders in the league have already gotten better (Brooklyn Nets) or have the groundwork to get better.
The Los Angeles Clippers have a very tradeable contract in Lou Williams and have not hesitated in the past to make moves. Someone who I think personally fits their team perfectly is Lonzo Ball. Do they have the trade capital to get him? I am not entirely sure, but he would be perfect off the bench for the Clippers.
There is speculation of the Denver Nuggets potentially trading for Bradley Beal, who suddenly feels like he could be traded because of the Wizards’ disastrous start. If not Denver, there is the chatter around of the Golden State Warriors potentially packaging James Wiseman, Kelly Oubre Jr and picks for Beal.
Over in the East, you have the Boston Celtics, who have a significant traded-player exception that they can use to really improve the team with draft capital.
These teams are all chasing the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets and are going to make moves at the deadline to reflect that.