The Los Angeles Lakers are likely going to make a deal ahead of the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline. It’s just not yet known how impactful the deal is going to be with Los Angeles at 20-24 and boasting the fourth-worst record in the Western Conference.
What we do know is that LeBron James and Co. are not going anywhere with the Lakers’ current roster.
Could that include calling up the New York Knicks for enigmatic former lottery pick Cam Reddish? According to NBA insider Marc Stein (subscription required), Los Angeles is making a strong push to acquire Reddish from the Knicks in a broader deal that would likely send impending free agent Kendrick Nunn from Los Angeles to a third team.
It’s highly unlikely that this would be a needle-mover for Los Angeles. The No. 10 overall pick of the Atlanta Hawks back in 2019, Reddish has been in and out of New York’s rotation since it acquired him in a trade during the 2021-22 season.
The wing is averaging 8.4 points on 45% shooting in 21.9 minutes of action per game. He has not seen action in a game since back on Dec. 3 against the Dallas Mavericks and is firmly on the block.
The issue here for the Los Angeles Lakers is the fact they lack natural assets to offer up for a more impactful player. General manager Rob Pelinka and Co. have pushed back against moving the two future first-round picks available in draft talks (2025 and 2027).
While Russell Westbrook’s expiring contract would be seen as a net-positive in trade talks, he’s one of the few Lakers playing at a high level right now. The former NBA MVP entered Wednesday night’s action averaging 22.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.6 assists on 48% shooting over the past seven games. He’s taken to the Sixth Man role in a big way.
Even if the Lakers looked to move Westbrook, they would be hard-pressed to find a dramatic upgrade without yielding both of those future first-round picks in a hypothetical trade.
This leads us to believe that the Los Angeles Lakers are going to pull off a couple of smaller trades ahead of the deadline in order to save face and contend for a bottom-tier playoff spot moving forward.