Lakers Rumors: Great Emphasis On Adding Defensive Wing At Trade Deadline
Rob Pelinka, Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The annual NBA trade deadline is coming up on Thursday, which means the Los Angeles Lakers are currently evaluating the different avenues they can take in order to improve their roster.

Considering the Lakers have struggled for a majority of this season, currently sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference at 26-25, it’s become clear that moves will need to be made in order to get back into championship contention.

The Lakers have been linked to a number of different players, which makes sense considering they have multiple needs to address. Perhaps one need is starting to come into focus above the rest though, and that is a 3-and-D wing type of player.

L.A. recently lost Jarred Vanderbilt to injury, perhaps for the rest of the season, which is a massive blow to their perimeter defense. With that being the case, finding a similar type player seems to be the top priority for Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic:

The Lakers clearly need to establish a semblance of consistency with their performance, energy, effort and playing rotations. At the same time, they likely need to make a trade or two. The team is putting a greater emphasis on adding a defensive wing by the trade deadline, according to team sources. The issue, of course, is that every team could use another wing. Prospective prices are high.

Point of attack defense has been an issue for the Lakers all season with their three best options in Vanderbilt, Gabe Vincent and Cam Reddish all missing significant time due to injury. The departure of Dennis Schroder in free agency over the summer also hurt the team’s perimeter defense.

Pelinka and the front office do not have a ton of assets at their disposal, but they due have a 2029 first-round pick they can trade in addition to multiple seconds and young players like Jalen Hood-Schifino, Maxwell Lewis and Max Christie.

That should be able to get the Lakers a quality player at the deadline, but if not, then they will have even more picks at this disposal to chase a star over the offseason.

Lakers interested in Nets wings Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale

If the Lakers do want to add a 3-and-D type wing at the trade deadline then perhaps the Brooklyn Nets are their best possible trade partners. The Lakers have reported interest in Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale, two players that would help replace the loss of Vanderbilt.

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