After passing on signing proficient shooters during 2018 free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers looked to address the roster deficiency at the NBA Trade Deadline. As Anthony Davis speculation ran rampant, their first move was to acquire Reggie Bullock from the Detroit Pistons.
It cost the Lakers rookie Svi Mykhailiuk and a future second-round draft pick, and the trade was viewed as further evidence of the Lakers looking to win now. While Bullock is the type of floor spacer who should thrive alongside James, the trade has not impacted the team as a whole.
The Lakers are unlikely to make the playoffs, extending their drought to six years. For Bullock, he’ll head into the summer as a free agent, coming off a two-year, $5 million contract.
While he presumably will garner some interest from other teams, Bullock already expressed interest in re-signing. “I would love to be back here with the Lakers,” he said.
“I was a fan of this organization pretty much my whole life, and the connection me and ‘Bron are building, it’s continuing to build trust. We’ll see how it plays out in the summer.”
Although the Lakers have still struggled with Bullock, he enjoys the team’s overall style and playing with James. “I like the way they play. He gets into the paint, a lot of people absorb around him, and he’s great at passing out of double-teams, finding shooters. That’s a skill set that I have,” Bullock said.
Bullock was with the Pistons when James first signed with the Lakers last summer, and when asked about his thoughts when that signing was announced, he gave a safe and understandable answer, saying that he didn’t see the Lakers not making the playoffs.
“No, it didn’t. It honestly didn’t cross my mind. I was just focused on when I was with the Pistons, what we were going to do,” Bullock said.
“Obviously, I end up getting traded here. I felt like I was a great piece to the team that helps space the floor. It didn’t work out right now for us to make that push. But like I said, it’s great to be here. I didn’t see the Lakers not being in [the playoffs], but we still have games left.”
Bullock would be a huge boost to the team for next year when morale resets, so it would be nice to see the front office make some room for him. In addition to James, Bullock’s connection with Brandon Ingram could be important, as they both grew up in the same small town of Kinston, N.C.