The trade deadline was full of suspense for the Lakers this season. A number of players were reportedly being discussed, including Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, and Chris Kaman.
Ultimately, the Lakers made only one trade, moving Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors, in exchange for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. While saving money, the trade did not go over well with some teammates.
With so many possibilities, many fans were hoping the Lakers would be able to come out with a new star player, or at least another pick in this year’s draft.
So we asked our panel of experts: What grade would you give the Lakers for the trade deadline moves and non-moves?? This is what they had to say:
Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner): I’d give the Lakers a D for their moves or lack thereof before the NBA trade deadline.
Mitch Kupchak and company had multiple opportunities to clear contracts off their books and potentially bring in valuable assets, but chose to stand pat after the Steve Blake trade.
The Lakers reportedly were working on a fairly big move to acquire Evan Turner and draft picks in exchange for Chris Kaman. It sounds like a stretch, but if Kupchak could’ve made that happen, it would’ve upgraded my grade from D to B.
Although Turner hasn’t panned out the way a second overall pick should in the NBA, the former Ohio State Buckeye might have been able to turn things around in Los Angeles.
With the lack of deals done before the deadline, the Lakers appear to be targeting the summer of 2015 and 2016 to make major moves. That being said, it could be more of the same for this team next season.
Ramneet Singh (@Ramneet24): The Los Angeles Lakers were fairly quiet during the trade deadline as many expected Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman to be shipped out. Instead, the team created some space for their point guards and traded Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors.
As for a grade for the front office, I give them a solid B. At this point it seems as though Mitch Kupchak and his staff are waiting for the offseason to deal with their bigger problems, including what to do with Pau Gasol. The Spaniard will likely switch jerseys over the summer, but there is a chance the team pulls off a sign-and-trade.
In the meantime, the Lakers have done a great job with adding two new, young players in Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. It’s not a guarantee that the team will re-sign the two guards, but it is fun and entertaining to watch them in the meantime.
This season is really going nowhere for the Lakers, so the front office did a great job opening up cap space for the summer and getting expiring contracts to see which young players to keep for the future.
Suki Thind (@TheRealSuki): I give the Lakers an incomplete in this department.
Many expected Mitch to work another miracle and land a huge player in return for older players and possibly a first round pick, but it didn’t happen.
The only move the front office made was dealing Steve Blake for Kent Bazemore and Marshon Brooks. I’ve been a huge supporter of Blake, so it was tough to see him go. At the same time, it was apparent that Blake likely wasn’t going to be a big part of the Lakers’ future, so they opted to save some money as all players involved aren’t signed beyond the current season and the two players they acquired have less lucrative contracts than Blake.
If I had to designate a grade, I’d choose a C simply because the front office made the correct default decision in saving as much money as possible in order to make a big splash over the next two seasons.
As a fan who saw the heart and soul Blake poured into his time with the Lakers, however, it’s hard to fathom the trade from that perspective. I do trust in Mitch Kupchak’s vision, so as of now, I think we’ll all have to take a ‘wait and see’ approach.
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