Woj: Lakers 'In a Tough Spot' at Trade Deadline, Don't Have Assets to Make Big Move

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 18, 2022

Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka watch his team warm up before an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Los Angeles, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on NBA Today Tuesday that the Los Angeles Lakers are in a "tough spot" in regard to making any moves prior to the Feb. 10 trade deadline and that any improvement is likely "going to have to come from within."

Studio host Malika Andrews asked Wojnarowski if there was anything brewing on the trade front for the Lakers, and he provided this response (3:00 mark):

"Listen, the Lakers tried," Wojnarowski said. "They tried to get involved with [former Atlanta Hawks wing Cam Reddish], you know the Knicks had a better asset for them. I think the Lakers are in a tough spot to do anything other than just kind of move the furniture around.

"... I think for the most part the Lakers' improvement is going to have to come from within. They just don't have tradeable assets, especially with so few sellers in the market. There are going to be other teams who can offer those select few sellers better offers than the Lakers will be able to."

The Lakers have gone 22-22 through 44 games. They recently allowed 128.3 points per game during a three-game losing streak capped by a 133-96 loss to the Denver Nuggets. However, L.A. bounced back with a 101-95 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday.

The Wojnarowski report comes after a report from Bill Oram and Sam Amick of The Athletic on Tuesday that head coach Frank Vogel's job is in "serious jeopardy":

"Vogel, who coached the Lakers to a championship in 2020 and whose contract runs through the 2022-23 campaign, is being evaluated on a game-to-game basis and remains at risk of being fired soon if the progress doesn’t continue, sources said. It’s unclear how much Monday’s win relieved the pressure that surrounds him."

However, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times reported later Tuesday that there are "no current plans" to replace Vogel.

As far as the trade market goes, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported that the Lakers are indeed interested in Indiana Pacers forward Myles Turner, who was averaging 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks before being sidelined with a stress reaction in his left foot.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report noted that the Lakers are among several teams who have "signaled interest" in Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant, who has averaged 20.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

He's been out with a UCL ligament sprain of the right thumb since mid-December. The Pistons announced on Dec. 12 that he would be reevaluated in six weeks.

Ultimately, the Lakers appear to be in limbo right now, especially as Anthony Davis continues to be sidelined with an MCL sprain that has kept him off the court for a month.

The good news is that AD, who was averaging 23.3 points and 9.9 rebounds prior to the injury, has been cleared by team doctors to start on-court, full-contact workouts.

He may end up being the Lakers' biggest addition (or readdition) down the stretch as L.A. attempts to escape from its current spot in the middle of the Western Conference.