LeBron James Reveals What’s Holding Back Lakers’ Success After No Trade Deadline Acquisition

Published 02/09/2024, 10:42 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

With the trade deadline now behind us, evaluations of winners and losers are underway, and unfortunately, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in the latter category. The Lakers’ pursuit to acquire 1x NBA All-Star Dejounte Murray from the Atlanta Hawks fell through. Despite their efforts, they didn’t make any significant moves on deadline day. Hours after the trade deadline, the Lakers faced the reigning champions, the Denver Nuggets.

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Despite stellar performances from LeBron (25 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists) and Anthony Davis (32 points), the reigning champions proved too good for the Lakers, as the Nuggets won the game by a scoreline of 106-114. This game proved the difference in quality and class between the two teams, with the Lakers miles behind the title-favorite Nuggets.

In a post-match interview, a dejected LeBron James gave his thoughts about how the Lakers can improve internally after the trade deadline. He said, “Just health. Max [Christie] went down today and didn’t return to the game. So our whole year has been about health.” Before rolling his ankle in the second quarter, Max Christie was having a promising game, scoring 7 points in 15 minutes of playing time.

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This has been the story of the Lakers’ season. They have had terrible luck with injuries. Key players like D’Angelo Russell, Cam Reddish, and Gabe Vincent have missed significant portions of the season because of injuries. Furthermore, Jarred Vanderbilt has also been ruled out for at least 3-4 weeks because of a mid-foot sprain he suffered against the Boston Celtics. Injuries to key players have completely derailed the Lakers’ momentum this season. But with less than 30 games remaining, can the Lakers complete a miraculous turnaround?

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Are the Lakers still legitimate title contenders?

Many people thought that the Lakers would be active on the trade deadline. However, the trade deadline came and went on Thursday, and the Lakers didn’t make any major moves. The Lakers are in dire need of help because the current roster isn’t capable of winning the title. Despite failing to make any significant trades, the Lakers will reportedly be active in the NBA’s buyout market.

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One name that jumps up in the buyout market is L.A. native Spencer Dinwiddie. While not as eye-catching as Dejounte Murray, Dinwiddie’s addition would help the Lakers in the short term. Dinwiddie is a savvy point guard, who is a decent playmaker as well as can create his shot. However, at the moment, a deep postseason run for the Lakers looks extremely unlikely, and their ambitions of an NBA title could be on hold for another season.

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Written by:

Dushyant Singh

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Dushyant Singh is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. His basketball script journey began in 2020 when he was captivated by the Los Angeles Lakers? triumphant NBA championship win. Before that he was merely dribbling and dunking as a boy next door.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja

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