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New FSM Feature: Trade Deadline for the Lakers

Franchise Sports Media


The NBA trade deadline passed, and the Lakers got busy. While they missed out on Kyrie Irving, Rob Pelinka made some spicy moves.


Photo Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

The Lakers finalized a deal that landed them Minnesota’s D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt in a trade that included Mike Conley and picks to the Timberwolves. Also, Russell Westbrook and a lightly protected 2027 LA first-round pick were shipped to the Jazz. In addition, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones were also sent to the Jazz, while Nickeil Alexander-Walker was sent to the Timberwolves.

Rob Pelinka told reporters, “We’re thrilled to add D’Angelo, Malik, and Jarred to our organization and are confident their talents will boost our ability to finish the season strongly. In this trade, we’ve added switchable wing defending, perimeter shooting, and rebounding depth.”

Pelinka also told reporters, “We certainly want to thank Russell, Juan, and Damian for their time here in Los Angeles and wish them and their families nothing but success moving forward.”

The Lakers dramatically upgraded their three-point shooting and added a forward who will help defensively and on the glass. They did all of that by including only one first-round pick, which they were able to protect if the pick landed in the 1-4 range. If not conveyed in 2027 (if it falls into the top-4), the pick immediately converts into a 2027 2nd-round pick.


The Lakers weren’t done yet, however, as they sent Thomas Bryant to the Nuggets for Davon Reed and three second-round picks. The second-round picks included 2025, 2026, and 2029. Moving Bryant opened up minutes for Vanderbilt and (in theory) Wenyen Gabriel in the rotation.


Lakers vs Magic
Photo Credit: AP

Some rumors were going around that Bryant had asked for the trade in secret. Reggie Miller was quoted as saying, “If you’re Thomas Bryant, how can you not want to play with LeBron James?”

Though it was more than likely a concern of playing time, as Bryant did have a solid stretch of games when Anthony Davis went down, and he must’ve felt that he deserved more. However, the Lakers did no favors in trading him to Denver, as Bryant will instead be the backup to Nikola Jokic.

The Los Angeles Lakers also traded Patrick Beverley to the Orlando Magic for center Mo Bamba. This trade came as a bit of a surprise, but it was a pleasant one as today’s game has moved away from players like Beverley. There’s no doubt that he still provides some value on defense, but offensively he’s relegated to shooting spot-up threes (34.8% from three this season), with the occasional inside score. 

With the acquisition of Bamba, the Lakers have had a growth spurt in size and length. This only made the Bryant trade make more sense, as Bamba will be an upgrade defensively. He may not be a rotational player. However, he’d be a great matchup guy to use when teams are deploying larger lineups or when Davis gets into foul trouble.


The Los Angeles Lakers had already made one move ahead of the February 9th NBA trade deadline when they sent three second-round picks and Kendrick Nunn to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Rui Hachimura.


Photo Credit: David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images

That move cleared up their logjam at the guard position, and it also allowed head coach Darvin Ham to deploy taller lineups rather than guard-heavy rotations that are smaller in size.

These moves must be considered a massive win for the Lakers, especially after the Dallas Mavericks swooped in and made a colossal blockbuster deal to snag Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets.

The Lakers offered Westbrook and their 2027, and 2029 first-round picks to the Nets. However, Brooklyn wanted more. They wanted to include both Austin Reaves and Max Christie, and the Lakers weren’t interested in that.

Reaves told reporters that it ‘means a lot’ that the Lakers were unwilling to include him in their package for Irving. At the same time, LeBron James told Mike Wilbon that he was “definitely disappointed” that the Lakers were unable to land Irving.


However, the Lakers surprised us all and made some crucial moves that addressed many of their problems. Now Laker nation can finally get off Pelinka’s back for a while.

Lakers           Lakers           Lakers                                   

– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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