The Los Angeles Lakers Actual Trade Deadline Moves
Everyone was talking about the Anthony Davis trade that didn’t happen between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers. Yet, very little attention was paid to the actual trade moves made by L.A.
Svi Mykhailiuk Swap for Reggie Bullock
One day before the trade deadline, the Lakers traded their shooting guard, Mykhailiuk and a second-round pick, to the Detroit Pistons. In return, they received small forward, Reggie Bullock. With Bullock, the Lakers will be gaining consistent shooting. He’s currently shooting 38.4% percent from three and has shot 39.7% from the three-point line in his career. He’s also an 83% free-throw shooter. This can only help the Lakers, who are the NBA’s worst free-throw shooting team, according to Team Rankings.
Mykhailiuk impressed L.A. fans last year during NBA Summer League, but his shooting did not translate into the regular season. He shot only 33.9% from three. That does not mean that Bullock will have an easy road with the purple and gold, as he will have to compete with players like Josh Hart, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Lance Stephenson for minutes.
Lakers Conduct Trade with Team Across the Street
A day later, the Lakers traded Zubac and Beasley to the Los Angeles Clippers for power forward, Mike Muscala. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, it’s because he was only a Clipper for a day. Muscala was traded to the Clippers, just a day before from the Philadelphia 76ers. He was part of a deal that sent Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic to Philly, and Muscala to L.A.
Beasley missed many games last year due to personal reasons and never reached a steady momentum with the Lakers. Meanwhile, Zubac averaged career highs with 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds. Essentially, the Lakers traded a player with potential (Zubac) for a proven player (Muscala). The 6’11 power forward has experience, as this is his 8th year in the league. The addition of Muscala gives the Lakers a strong player around the rim and a solid perimeter shooter. When needed, he could help JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler with rim protection. In all, the Lakers continued to add proven shooters.
Do the Lakers Have Enough Playmakers?
As it was pointed out soon after the trade deadline, the trades, were in a sense, trying to correct the errors of Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson during free-agency last summer. At the beginning of the season, they were criticized for not having enough shooters, and at one point they claimed that defense was their priority. Did their priority shift?
While talking to media on Friday, Lakers G.M. Pelinka said, “Our identity is still playmakers. I think it’s probably just a tweak on it, given the circumstances — the unexpected circumstances that we don’t control that came up. I think it’s a smart response to the events that unfolded and we’re excited to see how it works.” Or in other words, they found out how difficult it is to find players who can play both defense and offense on a game-to-game basis.
With the addition of Bullock and Muscala, there will be a stronger offense, but the chemistry will take it time. Yes, this could of have been avoided before the season began but at least the problem was acknowledged and changes were made. Now, that the trade deadline has come and gone, the Lakers will refocus and adjust for the last push after All-Star Weekend. It will not be an easy task as their upcoming schedule features playoff contending teams.