Los Angeles Lakers are free to fall but are unable make moves in advance of the trade deadline

LOS ANGELES — Despite Lakers not looking like the championship contenders they were built to be, free falling in the standings and being losers of six of their eight last games, L.A. didn't make any moves at Thursday's trade deadline.

Rob Pelinka, Lakers vice-president of basketball operations and general manger, said that they were aggressive in several conversations trying to improve the team. He spoke on a videoconference call after the deadline. We always wanted to get this team into the best possible position to win a championship. However, we couldn't find a deal that would have a net positive effect on both the short-term and long-term success of the team. These are two things that we think about.

Lakers locker room is filled to the brim with frustration. Tuesday's loss to defending-champion Milwaukee BucksSources within the team have admitted to ESPN that the team is not functioning properly and suggested changes to help get it back on track.

Pelinka has continued to use the same standard operating procedures since L.A. signed LeBron JamesAnd traded for Anthony DavisHe was accompanied by the front office. The two captains were consulted about potential deals on Thursday. According to the GM, the pair were able to understand the decisions L.A. could not make and the deals that the team decided to reject due to the asking price.

“You can't force a team to give you a deal that will improve your team. Pelinka said that they can do it themselves. “And throughout the process we had various things we looked at, and like I've done previously had conversations with LeBron or Anthony about it. I would say that there's alignment. It's that simple.

The Lakers engaged the Houston RocketsDiscussions centered on a Russell WestbrookJohn WallESPN sources said that the Rockets had expressed interest in additional compensation beyond the 2017 league MVP after the swap was stopped by them. L.A. had also traction on a deal with three teams involving the Toronto Raptors New York KnicksOn Wednesday, this would have required the trading of third-year guard Talen Horton-TuckerHowever, that was also a failure due to draft picks, sources said to ESPN.

If L.A. hopes to make a run in the postseason, Westbrook will need to find a way of being effective in the final stretch.

Pelinka compared Westbrook's current situation to that of his former client. Andre Iguodala, was a member of the first group. Golden State WarriorsHe had to make the transition from an All-Star player in Philadelphia to a role player on a champion team.

Pelinka explained that he has had numerous conversations with Russ, since he was traded to us. Russ is big-hearted, as everyone knows. He wants to win. He knows that with players as influential and influential as Anthony and LeBron on the court, it will require sacrifices in his game as well as how he plays.

Westbrook's mental state will be affected by the trade deadline. After playing in all 55 L.A. games, Westbrook was not allowed to play on Wednesday due to lower back tightness. ESPN was told Wednesday by a team source that Westbrook would love to be traded out of town and the Lakers to “rip the Band-Aid off”, in order to get the season on track.

Of course, no trade occurred. Pelinka was questioned if he believed that Westbrook had been a trade. L.A. sent the question to Pelinka. Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl HarrellA first round selection to the Washington WizardsIn order to obtain the point guard, and two second-round picks back June — it could still end up being considered a success.

Pelinka said, “I think you would take any three All-Stars from the NBA and your work was fifteen games,”

James, Davis, Westbrook and Westbrook have played only 18 games together this season. L.A. went 10-8. L.A. currently ranks No. 9 in Western Conference, four games behind No. Portland is the gap securing at least a tournament spot. Five games are left for the Lakers. They would have to catch Denver at 6 to avoid the play in and get an automatic playoff bid.

Pelinka stated that L.A. will monitor the buy-out market to find ways to improve. They have a complete 15-man roster, so they will need to waive one player if they are able to find a buyer.

“I believe the most important thing is that we have the support of the entire team.” [Lakers owner] Jeanie [Buss]He stated that the family and she would like to see more opportunities to improve the team.

Pelinka stated that if L.A. continues to stand pat with its roster, as it did at the deadline for trades, then every member of the team must work together to make things right.

He stated, “If success is not your goal or you have a difficult time, you should look in the mirror. Then you can work harder and be better for those around you.” And I believe that this applies to all of us. It doesn't matter if it's me, a coach or a player. Just look in the mirror and try to be better. Play harder. Care more about the guy beside you. All of these are things we can do.

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