Windhorst: Lakers Seeking Frontcourt Help in Trade, Not Expected to Make Move

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2021

The Los Angeles Lakers interact after player introductions before the start of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly in the market for frontcourt help, but that doesn't mean a trade of any kind is imminent.

On Friday's episode of the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN's Brian Windhorst said he does not expect the Lakers to make a trade despite their desire to add a big man.

L.A.'s reported interest in bigs may be in relation to Anthony Davis' health. He missed the last nine games before the All-Star break with calf and Achilles injuries and is also set to miss Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers.

L.A. has struggled mightily during Davis' absence, going 3-6 in its final nine games before the break. Among the losses were games against the Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings, both teams that are lingering well outside the playoff places.

The Lakers apparent want for frontcourt depth could be a sign that Davis' injuries are worse than originally thought, or it could simply be a case of the Lakers wanting some insurance and/or an upgrade over Marc Gasol.

The signing of Gasol was heralded as a big move for the Lakers during the offseason and one that would offset the losses of Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee.

Gasol has not performed up to expectations, though, averaging just 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 blocks in over 20 minutes per game.

Outside of Davis and Gasol, the Lakers have Montrezl Harrell in a sixth-man role, as well as Markieff Morris, who plays power forward minutes off the bench.

The Lakers would benefit from some reinforcements up front, although Windhorst's report suggests the reigning NBA champions may not get any.

Even if they don't make a trade, though, the Lakers could potentially be major players on the buyout market should any notable bigs hit free agency in that manner.

One potential option is Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond if the Cavs are unable to find a trade partner before the March 25 deadline.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported this week that there is "optimism" within the Lakers that Drummond will give signing with L.A. "strong consideration" should he get a buyout.

Drummond is a two-time All-Star and four-time rebounding champion, and he would undoubtedly be an ideal fit for a Lakers team that needs either a running mate for Davis or a potential replacement should his injury issues persist.