(Photo : Al Bello/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NEW YORK – LeBron James (#23) of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on against the New York Knicks before their game at Madison Square Garden on February 03, 2024 in New York City.
The NBA trade deadline should be exciting for fans and teams, especially those hoping to improve their roster immediately.
For others, the goal is to prepare for the future.
There is, however, a jarring silence from those who were expected to make moves.
The NBA trade deadline 2024 did not see any All-Star-level players getting shipped out.
However, big market teams, except the New York Knicks, decided not to do anything.
Chief among them are the Los Angeles Lakers, who are trying to crawl their way back to playoff contention.
The Purple and Gold, who were busier unveiling the statue of Kobe Bryant on Thursday, are currently ninth in the Western Conference standings, 1.5 games behind the 11th spot.
They are in a precarious position. Yes, they won three straight (as of this writing and before the trade deadline), but it is still hard to say if those wins are signs that they are figuring things out.
For that, they are number one in the list of the Top 3 Biggest losers in the NBA trade deadline.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
Lebron James tweeted an hourglass emoji hours after their loss to the Atlanta Hawks last week, prompting NBA fans and Lakers supporters to think that major changes were coming.
Nothing of the sort happened. Instead, the Lakers will go into the rest of the season with the same inconsistent roster.
The Lakers are the biggest losers because the management wasted King James’ remaining prime years.
Anthony Davis is the healthiest he has been, and if not for their record, he should be an MVP candidate.
Read more: 76ers Deal Patrick Beverly to East Rival Bucks for Cam Payne
How did the Lakers turn from a market buyer into a frozen team on the trade deadline?
D’Angelo Russell’s name was the one that made the most trade rumors last month. However, he turned things around, scoring at least 15 points in 10 of their last 11 games.
One could also take the silence as the front office deciding to do it next season instead, as the title is out of their reach now.
As for Lebron, it is unknown where he would go next season. The Lakers are the losers in this trade deadline. They might lose big, too, soon.
2. Killian Hayes
This should have been Grant Williams, but Killian Hayes made the list because of how far he fell off.
In the last weeks, the former lottery pick made it known that he wants a “change of scenery,” which is warranted given how deep he fell off in the rotation of the Detroit Pistons-the worst team in the league.
It speaks a lot when a player gets released instead of getting traded. With the latter, the player knows he still has some value.
Another team should sign him, but the 2020 seventh-overall draft pick will have to work his way up.
He failed to come out on top in the logjam in the point guard position in Detroit. That is mainly because of his shooting percentage, just 47.5 percent conversion rate, way below the 59.5 percent league average.
If it really is the system that is limiting him, then he should be okay.
3. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls expressed a desire to keep DeMar DeRozan. The player hopes to stay with them, too.
That is an interesting development and reflects the lack of sense of urgency from the front office.
The Ringer reported that the team has not made a trade since August 2021-that is 30 months and counting.
It is not solely their fault, though. Zach Lavine would have been a great trade asset, but he went down with an injury.
However, they are nowhere near the playoffs with their current squad. They have major trade assets, including Derozan and Alex Caruso.
“They’re not looking to get draft assets and expirings,” Adrian Wojnarowski said on his weekly podcast. “They want to reboot this on the fly. They want to stay competitive.”
Fans would have to be contented with mediocrity if that is the case.
Related article: Why Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks Trade Is a Great Move for New York Knicks
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