LeBron James Believes in Lakers' Current Roster Ahead of NBA Trade Deadline

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIMarch 12, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and forward Kyle Kuzma (0) and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, second from right, and forward Anthony Davis (3) huddle during the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers during Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

If it's up to LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers might have a quiet trade deadline as March 25 nears.

The star of the defending champions said Thursday that the best thing the team can do is play better with the men already on the roster. Whether the front office agrees will become apparent in the coming days as trade rumors continue to heat up. 

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

LeBron James: "I’m not in the mindframe as far as what needs to happen as far as our roster. For us, what needs to happen is we want to play better basketball with the group that we got. I believe in every guy in our locker room & every guy that hits the floor."

L.A. enters the second half of the season 24-13 and in third place in the Western Conference. 

Yet the Lakers have dropped seven of 10, with star big man Anthony Davis missing nine of those contests because of an ailing Achilles.

However, when the team's healthy, there's little reason to disagree with James. The Lakers made major moves by adding Montrezl Harrell, Dennis Schroder, Wesley Matthews and Marc Gasol during the shortest offseason in league history. They've already reloaded in all the necessary areas ahead of what was expected to be not only a tiring season, but also one laden with question marks because of the pandemic. 

Given the NBA is bringing back the play-in tournament for the Nos. 7 through 10 finishers in each conference, more teams than ever likely feel they have a chance to make the postseason, which could create a seller's market at the deadline. Los Angeles doesn't need to overpay for an acquisition when it knows it's capable of winning a title as-is. 

Instead, the best thing the Lakers could do is work to ensure Davis gets healthy ahead of another playoff run.

Los Angeles has seven games ahead of the deadline to prove James right—beginning with a Friday home contest against the Indiana Pacers. After that there's not much the front office can do.