3 Trade deadline moves that would boost Lakers, 2 they must avoid

The Lakers need to upgrade their roster before the Feb. 8 trade deadline.

Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers have work to do before the trade deadline if they want to make another deep playoff run. They are currently ninth in the Western Conference, despite their two-game winning streak. LA is just one game over .500 and certainly getting pressure from LeBron James to improve their roster.

General manager Rob Pelinka remade it at last year’s trade deadline, and it propelled the Lakers to the conference finals. Can he repeat the magic in 2024? King James and company are 21st in offensive rating and desperately need another scorer capable of attacking the rim and creating some open looks.

LeBron is still elite at 39 years old, and the Lakers owe it to him to push for a championship. They only have one first-round draft pick available to trade, so they need to find a difference-making move without landing a third star. What can the Lakers do before the Feb. 8 trade deadline?

Move to boost Lakers: Add a shooter

Los Angeles is making just 11.3 3-pointers per game this season, which ranks 28th in the NBA. Only the Magic and Pistons are worse. The Lakers certainly need more shooting around LeBron James and Anthony Davis if they want to make the playoffs. Boston is making five more 3-pointers per game, which would be a near-impossible disparity to overcome if the two sides matched up in a seven-game series.

Jarred Vanderbilt’s foot injury has the Lakers searching for a replacement. They would love to add a strong defender who sinks open jumpers. Someone like Dorian Finney-Smith would be the perfect complement to their current core.

The Los Angeles Lakers desperately need a shooter to round out their roster, but it is not the only thing they should be searching for in advance of the trade deadline. The franchise cannot afford to stand pat if they want to contend this season.