The Los Angeles Lakers never came close to making a trade during Thursday’s NBA deadline, team sources told The Athletic’s Jovan Buha.
The Lakers were linked to several players, including Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray, Toronto Raptors guard Bruce Brown, and the Chicago Bulls duo of Alex Caruso and Andre Drummond.
However, L.A. didn’t want to part with its two most coveted assets: its 2029 first-round pick and third-year guard Austin Reaves. The Lakers would’ve needed to attach their first-round selection in any deal involving Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, or D’Angelo Russell.
L.A. believed teams were demanding higher prices from it than they would from other organizations, reports Buha.
“We tried everything we could, and again, the market is the market,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said. “There were a lot of buyers, and as everyone knows, when the market has few sellers and tons of buyers, the prices are very, very aggressive. And sometimes no move is better than an unwise move.”
Pelinka added, “We’re not fearful of using future assets for now. It’s just got to be using future assets for the now in the right way and the right deal.”
The 54-year-old general manager said Los Angeles will be “very aggressive” in the buyout market to help bolster its roster.
The Lakers are interested in point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who the Toronto Raptors waived shortly after they acquired him from the Brooklyn Nets. Dinwiddie hasn’t had his most efficient season but would give the Lakers another ball-handler off the bench.
They’ll also monitor veteran point guard Kyle Lowry’s status as the Charlotte Hornets are expected to cut him in the coming days, per Buha.
The Lakers are again expected to pursue marquee free agents this summer. Their three biggest targets will reportedly be Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving, Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young, and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell.
L.A. will also have three first-round selections to use this summer.
The team has struggled to cement itself in a playoff spot, sitting ninth in the Western Conference with a 27-26 record.