If Lakers fans weren’t already fretted by the arbitrary 20-game minimum the franchise reportedly set early in the season before they’d make a trade, boy, there’s another gift for you. With a week to go before that 20-game deadline expires, the Lakers are already attempting to extend it by another month.
In Wednesday’s episode Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective Podcast, Dave McMenamin spoke about the Lakers’ current plans and realistic goals following Tuesday’s loss to the Suns. And it’s not just 20 games to wait.
“What they think is realistic is to play .500 ball by December 15, when deals may open in the league, because then contracts signed last summer can be traded. And then maybe sometime in late December through mid-January you can finally do that mythical draft pick trade that’s been talked about for months and months and months and give that as an extra boost to the kind of basketball you’re already making. They have already established.”
At this point, it just feels like the Lakers aren’t serious about actually making a trade. It also feels like Jim Buss is setting the deadline for making the playoffs, as it’s a deadline that no one benefits from.
The Lakers setting a 20-game deadline to open the season was pretty arbitrary and pointless. But the idea of this schedule exploded because of the team’s slow start. And now everyone is keenly aware of that deadline, and the Lakers don’t seem any closer to a deal now than they should open the year.
In theory, the longer the Lakers wait, the lower the price of each trade pack will be, as player contracts become shorter and shorter. But the Lakers are so far from any trade that it’s unclear how much that helps them. Aside from another team drastically changing their approach to this season — something the Lakers might be hoping for — no new deal will appear now that wasn’t there at the start of the year.
There’s a new generation of players that could be traded on December 15th, but again, are any of them impactful enough to make it worth the wait? The Lakers have not yet been a .500 team this season. Can they afford to wait another month?
Ultimately all of this feels very silly again and it does nothing but make the Lakers front office look worse and worse. Stop setting deadlines and just make a trade or don’t. Leaking those deadlines only adds unnecessary pressure and gives fans something much more tangible to fret about.
For more lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed iTunes, Spotify, stapler or Google Podcasts. Follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.