Monday 18th December 2017,
The Hoop Doctors

Don’t Expect Lakers to Be Active at Trade Deadline

The Los Angeles Lakers are going to cap off a tumultuous season by doing nothing at the NBA’s trade deadline.

Much has been made of what the team would try to do leading into February 21st. Would the Lakers attempt to trade Pau Gasol? Dwight Howard? Everyone (kidding)?

Sitting 3.5 games outside the Western Conference playoff picture wasn’t where Los Angeles was supposed to be. And change was thought to be the only way to combat an increasingly complex dynamic.

Or maybe not.

Per Steven Marcus of Newsday, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has said the team will not be making any moves as we near the trade deadline:

Asked about his remaining options to salvage this season, Kupchak said, “We will not make a trade. We will not trade Dwight Howard. We have no intention of making a trade. It’s unlikely that we’ll make any trade with any of our principal players. To make another change at this time of the year being behind the eight-ball like we are, I think that would just make it more difficult. The talent is there. We have to find our way.”

If nothing else, Kupchak’s latest assertions should quell any concerns that the Lakers were contemplating trading away what was supposed to be their future in Howard. There seemed to be a growing belief that Los Angeles was no longer the lock it originally was to sign the big man and would thus try to capitalize off his departure.

But that was never going to happen. Short of Howard himself demanding a trade, he was never going anywhere.

What is interesting here is Kupchak’s generalization. Not only did he note that the Lakers wouldn’t trade Dwight, but that they had “no intention of making a trade” whatsoever. He could obviously go back on his word if the right deal presents itself, yet that doesn’t read like a man who is actively shopping Pau.

After being relegated to bench duty, Gasol has been admittedly unhappy. He’s made no attempt to hide his emotions and the unpleasantries that have become some of his postgame comments seemed to pave the way for his departure, a departure that seemed inevitable.

Barring a surprise championship run, I still see the Lakers dealing Gasol at some point. It could be this summer, in the middle of next season or we could even see Kupchak eat his words and pull the trigger on a deal this year. That Los Angeles isn’t actively shopping Gasol (or even Howard) is huge, though. It shows that its prepared to finish the season with who it has, eradicating any other teams’ hope that the Lakers would sell low and blow it up at the deadline.

Will Kupchak’s words hold true by deadline’s end? Are the Lakers destined to stand pat?

Maybe, but maybe not.

What’s important here is that there doesn’t appear to be any sense of desperation being conveyed on the the Lakers’ behalf.


That at the very least, doing nothing is actually a strong possibility.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at in addition to Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.


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  • Marty Susman

    Sad, really sad is how I look at this mess…Months before the season I said on every forum I could that the Lakers needed to go for youth, speed & desire. I said Nash was to old, Dwight was damaged & instead of those two they should trade for youth… I am not in any way shape or form an expert, far from it but it seemed a no brainer to me…

    Now they find themselves with a team of older, slower players & paying a ton of money for them & getting less then zero results…OK, what would any 1st grader do with that problem, very very simple….

    Trade Nash, Trade Dwight, Trade Gasol, Trade Peace, Trade Duhon, Trade Blake, in other words either dump payroll & get ready for next year… HELLO !!!! This mess is not getting better. Dwight is more damaged then I thought & the BEST thing the Lakers can do is TRADE him NOW!!!!!!!! TRADE NASH NOW !!!!! maybe for a Jennings in some sort of package…. TRADE Peace for say 1st round pick hahahah, TRADE Pau Gasol to the Timberwolves who know Love will walk soon & so on, don’t sit on your backside & spout bullshit about the team has talent & a good coach,,, You mention this coach & good even on the same day & you need your head examined…..I hope you guys have a solid contract with Time Warner because if they keep tract of viewers this one stopped watching…

    • Dan

      Dumping payroll isn’t really an option. And it doesn’t make much sense. The plan has always been for LA to be under the cap by 2014, and right now, they are. I don’t see them selling low on players like Dwight or Nash who can still help them win.