The Los Angeles Lakers are plummeting.
The franchise has spurts of amplitude where they make their fans and the envious fans of neighboring teams jealous of how much time they have left on their championship clock. The truth of the matter is, though, they do not have much time. Kobe Bryant’s 40-point clinics are temporary countermeasures that gloss over the team's lack of stability in the Western Conference playoff picture.
The Lakers will get there—they just will not stay there.
The trade deadline is emphatically approaching, and no one knows exactly where the team's head is going into the most important part of the season. Kobe is not a trade option, but players such as Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum become more attractive as candidates every day.
The equivalent may not be received, but that is neither here nor there for the Lakers. Their system is collapsing under coach Mike Brown’s watch, and they just need players who fit. The Lakers need players who can change the obvious outcome.
They kind of need a miracle by the trade deadline. Since they are not expecting a trade of those proportions, though, let's explore which trades would be best and which trades will just be more temporary, haphazard solutions.