After weeks of stagnation, the trade market has predictably heated up on the day of the 2024 trade deadline. There have been several notable moves early in the morning and just like the several weeks before, the Los Angeles Lakers have not been involved.
That is not to say that the Lakers won't make any trades and by the time you are reading this they might have pulled off a deal. But the Lakers were not in the initial wave of moves and that unfortunately cost the team, as Los Angeles lost out on what would have been a perfect trade target to pair next to Anthony Davis.
The Toronto Raptors traded Kira Lewis, Otto Porter Jr. and a 2024 first-round pick to the Utah Jazz for Ochai Agbaji and Kelly Olynyk. This deal was surprising to the NBA world as the Raptors were not a team that seemingly made sense for Olynyk. A team like the Lakers made a lot more sense for the big man.
However, there was still some optimism that this could simply lead to a buyout and that Toronto was making this trade for Agbaji. But that is not the case either. Toronto doesn't want to just keep Olynyk for the rest of the season, the team potentially wants to bring him back in free agency this summer as well.
Kelly Olynyk is completely off the table for the Lakers
Kelly Olynyk was not going to be the difference between making the NBA Finals and falling short in the second round but he would have been a great fit in the frontcourt alongside AD. The Lakers need a big who can space the floor on the offensive end without giving too much up on the defensive end.
Christian Wood can space the floor but he is awful defensively and that limits his playing time. Jaxson Hayes can defend the rim but he isn't a real contributor on offense, which limits his ceiling. Olynyk could have been a blend of the two, offering floor spacing on one end and serviceable rim protection on the other.
At the very least, the Lakers can know that they didn't lose out on Olynyk to a cheap price. It would be frustrating if the cost was a second-round pick but the Raptors traded a first. Granted, that first was the Oklahoma City Thunder first which will be in the high 20s in a bad draft class, but still. The Lakers were never going to match that value.
Alas, the Lakers may have to pivot and consider other options before the clock strikes midnight (noon Pacific, to be specific) on the trade deadline.