Lakers’ Post-All-Star Forecast Remains Cloudy

The NBA Trade Deadline is February 21st at 12:00p PT. What moves, if any, should the Lakers make before the deadline?

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

John Gaffer // @jewelslamo:

As the trade deadline approaches, it’s time for the Lakers to wise up. They need to dump Howard for the likes of Kevin Love or Brook Lopez, and rid themselves of the guy that doesn’t act or play like he wants to be in Hollywood. If they can’t get any value in return, they stay the course and hope he plays with some sense of professionalism the rest of the season.

Felipe Amaral // @F_Amaral:

The Lakers shoudn’t make any moves at all. The most difficult challenge for the Lakers this season has been building a team identity, and that will only get harder if the front office decides to bring in new faces at the defining moments of the year, in terms of making the playoffs.

Alex Lambeth // @AlexLambeth:

A minor move. The Lakers are again rumored as being interested in Utah Jazz guard Raja Bell. A major move at the deadline looks unlikely, as the Lakers’ front-office seems insistent on keeping Dwight Howard, and with Pau Gasol still out indefinitely, the Lakers have few assets to deal. The Lakers do, however, still have the Disabled Player Exception and a few small trade exceptions that could help yield a cheap role player.

Oren Levy // @LakersOren:

Not involving any of the core four. With Jordan Hill returning from injury next season, the Lakers can explore trading Earl Clark, should the right deal come along. They will probably lose him this summer, as he is young, cheap, and has huge upside – which means someone is going to overpay him, as Houston overpaid Trevor Ariza, and Golden State overpaid Ronny Turiaf. If someone offers Clark a 5 year, $35 million contract, he will (and should) walk. So if the Lakers can flip him and get rid of Duhon’s salary and come away with a nice player whose contract expires next season (keeping the cap space plan alive) like Shawn Marion, or an Ariza-like swingman, they should look into that.

Garrett Garcia // @GarrettGarcia:

I feel the Lakers need to hold off on any big blockbuster trades.  We made those in the offseason and they don’t seem to be paying off as we had hoped.  This group of guys can get the job done, they just need to trust each other and at least pretend to like each other (Kobe and Dwight).  By not making any trades, the LA front office is showing the roster that they trust them to get the job done and hopefully that’ll be just the shot in the arm they need.

Melvin Taylor // @MelvinTaylorII:

Sorry everyone, but I’m trading Dwight. I want someone who wants to play in L.A/ (Earl Clark), not someone who says: “I want to win where I’m at.” He’s going to Atlanta for either Josh Smith and Al Horford, or a package of Horford, Teague, Morrow, and a pair of first round draft picks. It gives L.A. a future to build around Horford (who I believe is a power forward and would thrive in that position), draft picks to build through the draft, and money to bring in quality players from free agency. If Earl Clark develops, he would be a nice addition next to Al, not to mention Jordan Hill having a jump shot to take pressure off Al.

If not Atlanta, then I would trade Dwight wherever I can get the most assets: Toronto, Minnesota, Brooklyn, or Phoenix.

James Cypert // @JamesCypert:

GM Mitch Kupchak has stated repeatedly that the Lakers will not move Dwight Howard before this year’s trade deadline. Fortunately, the Lakers have a perfect franchise litmus test for the embattled center – a nationally televised game against the rival Boston Celtics just days after the death of one of the most iconic figures in Lakers history. You can expect Kobe Bryant to come out looking to win one for Dr. Buss, but will Howard be looking to do the same? If Howard comes out inspired and proudly representing the Purple and Gold, he stays put. If we see the Dwight Howard we’ve come to read about in the New York Post, expect Kupchak to look for a new face of the franchise, whether it be by Thursday or come July.

Bummi Anderson // @BummiNAnderson:

As the trade deadline looms, Lakers are not in a position to do anything major except trade Dwight (that would be dumb). Perhaps, they can do something small involving Ebanks.

Anna Gonda // @AnnaLBG:

With all the changes that the Lakers have undergone, it’s doubtful that any trade this late in the season could help them much. New players only mean a new set of teammates who have to learn the systems, develop rapport with, etc. They need to make the best with who they have now.

Robert Benitez // @Beeb0:

No. They need to stick with what they have and go all in. If they do make a move, it will just be more of the same chemistry and unfamiliarity with the system we’ve seen all season.

Next Question: What will be the deciding factor for the Lakers post All-Star break?

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Jason Riley is the executive director of LakerNation.com. He also pens a regular opinion column, Out of Bounds, and is the co-host of Voice of the Nation: Fastbreak. He currently splits his time in Los Angeles, CA and Carlsbad, CA.