The Lakers are holding steady, and the Warriors aren’t adding anyone at the trade deadline amid mediocre seasons
The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers performed well below their preseason expectations through the first four months of the season, but neither team made a move to add to their roster at Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
The Lakers are 27-25 and ninth in the Western Conference, while the Warriors are two spots back of 11th at 23-25.
After reaching the 2023 Western Conference Finals and winning this season’s divisional championship, the Lakers appeared poised for another deep postseason run. But mid-January blew a hole in those plans and appeared to make Los Angeles an active buyer at the deadline.
However, after weeks of talks with the Atlanta Hawks regarding a trade for All-Star Dejounte Murray, no deal has been reached. for every The athleteJovan Buha The Lakers had previously offered D’Angelo Russell and Jalen Hood-Schifino their 2029 first-round pick and additional draft compensation for Murray.
But without reaching an agreement, Los Angeles will take those assets, along with Austin Reeves, into the final months of the season, hoping they can conjure more of the playoff magic built around 39-year-old LeBron James.
Despite playing in his 21st season, James is averaging 24.9 points, 7.6 assists and 7.3 rebounds in 34.9 minutes per game. On January 31, James tweeted an hourglass emoji amid speculation about the team’s trade deadline. James declined to explain what he meant by the message.
James’ future with the Lakers has also come into question in recent weeks, with the four-time MVP answering, “No,” when asked if he had decided to pick up his player option for next season worth $51.4 million. The deadline to exercise this option is June 29.
LeBron James was asked twice at tonight’s trade deadline.
Here are his two answers:
You guys went 4-2 on this trip. Do you feel like you as a team have proven or demonstrated why you guys should continue to invest in this group?
James: “This is what we have, so there’s nothing else…
– Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) February 6, 2024
The Warriors, two years removed from winning their fourth NBA title in the last decade, entered Thursday’s deadline with a roster built to win now — built around a still-dominant Steph Curry — and loaded with tradeable pieces.
Golden State made one trade, sending guard Corey Joseph to the Indiana Pacers. But the Warriors received no players in return, just money and a second-round pick, according to league sources. The deal wipes the veteran Joseph’s minimum deal off the books, saving the Warriors nearly $11 million in luxury taxes and clearing an additional roster spot.
The Joseph deal is a footnote compared to the deals Golden State considered but didn’t execute.
Andrew Wiggins — who had the worst season of his career after playing a key role in the team’s 2022 championship run — will remain with the Warriors, finishing out the first year of his four-year extension. He has played better over the past month and is currently being placed in the starting and closing lineup. Instead of the disappointing PvP options available to Wiggins, the Warriors kept him.
Chris Paul, an expiring contract that would have been valuable on the market if attached to a draft asset, will also remain with the Warriors. He has a non-guaranteed deal worth $30 million next season that could be used as a trade vehicle this summer. Or they can let him walk and slide easily under the second apron, which they consider essentially necessary.
Paul is out with an injury but is expected to return sometime after the All-Star break and will likely handle the non-Curry minutes for the Warriors.
The Warriors have checked in with several players in recent weeks, including some in conversations with the Chicago Bulls regarding Alex Caruso on Thursday, according to The athleteShams Al Sharaniya. But the price was too high and the Warriors stuck around, maintaining a roster that has been playing better lately but still ranks 11th in the crowded West.
Instead, the Warriors are hoping their veteran squad can return to the All-Star levels of production they had last year, while their young pieces elevate their game and breathe life into Golden State’s red-hot dynasty amid a crowded Western Conference.
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(Photo: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Tags for translation)Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA