NBA Rumors: Lakers GM Rob Pelinka ‘Interested In Upgrading Team’ Before February Trade Deadline

Jayne Kamin-OnceaGetty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers may currently own the best record in the Western Conference in the 2019-20 NBA season, but there are still plenty of things that they need to improve. If they are serious about fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the 2020 NBA championship title, the Lakers should find ways to address the issues on their roster before the real battle begins in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka is “interested in upgrading his team” before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.

“The Lakers need a legitimate third scorer, ball-handling help and outside shooting,” Vardon wrote, as quoted by Rob Gutterman of Lakers Nation. “Kuzma is 24, is under contract for $3.6 million next season and, as he showed on Christmas, has a potentially huge upside. He is the young player teams would want if the Lakers pursue a major upgrade come February. The Lakers’ other chief potential trade chip is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who makes $8.1 million this season with a player option for $8.5 million next year. But he would have to approve a trade. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is interested in upgrading his team, but activity likely won’t come until closer to the deadline.”

It makes a lot of sense for Pelinka to continue finding ways to improve their current roster. The Golden State Warriors may no longer be as dominant as they were in the past years, but the Lakers’ road to the 2020 NBA Finals won’t be easy, especially with the emergence of powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Clippers in the deep Western Conference.

Despite having a healthy LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers are yet to win a single game against the Kawhi Leonard and Paul George-led Clippers in the 2019-20 NBA season. As of now, some people think that the Lakers still need to add another legitimate NBA superstar in order to have a better chance of ending their years of title drought. According to a previous article by The Inquisitr, some of the players that the Lakers could target before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline include Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.

However, though they still have an intriguing trade asset in Kyle Kuzma, trading for the likes of Holiday and Beal would be a tough challenge for the Lakers. Aside from Kuzma, the Lakers would also be needing to give up several role players like Kentavious-Caldwell-Pope and Danny Green for salary-matching purposes. As much as Pelinka wanted to improve their roster, it may not be worth it sacrificing several key contributors on their team. As of now, it is more likely for the Lakers to try upgrading their roster by signing players on the buyout market instead of engaging in a trade deal before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.