The Lakers have started the season by winning just five of their first 20 games, and remain dead last in the league in terms of defensive efficiency, or points allowed per 100 possessions.
But there is no help on the way, at least not this season.
While L.A. would love to add enough talent to the roster to be able to compete for a playoff spot this year, the team is strapped from a salary cap perspective, and holds very few assets that could be exchanged for players who could make enough of an impact to where a trade would be desirable.
The Lakers, meanwhile, don’t figure to be very active on the trade market in the coming months, according to league sources. The Lakers were able to come up with the draft pick (from Houston) in exchange for taking on the contract of guard Jeremy Lin, and they’d be interested in adding another pick.
Los Angeles can hang on to its own first-round pick only if that pick falls in the Top 5. Even at 5-14 heading into Friday, the team’s pick would fall at No. 6, meaning they’d require lottery luck in order to hang onto it. If it is not in the Top 5, the Lakers will send the pick to the Suns.
The chief issue for the Lakers when it comes to potential trades is obvious from a glance at the roster — there are slim pickings. “There isn’t much there you’re going to give up a lot for,” one general manager told Sporting News.
This came up after the Lakers were in Boston to face the Celtics, and Kobe Bryant had breakfast with Rajon Rondo.
Rondo’s name has been brought up in trade rumors for years, and with the Celtics in the middle of a rebuild and with Rondo becoming an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of this season, those rumors will continue to swirl.
But the Lakers simply don’t have anything of interest to offer up — to Boston, or to anyone else.